With the 2012 Summer Olympics a mere fifteen days away, we should take some time to reflect on how much technology has changed in the last four years, and how different our viewing experiences for these London Olympics will be.
At the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, tablets were not in existence, smartphones were just beginning to become popular and there were less than 1 million people using both Twitter and Facebook… where now there are hundreds of millions. This year’s upcoming games are already starting to be referred to as the socialympics.
Some ways that the expected 4.9 billion viewers will be connecting with each other are through:
Sponsored Olympic Websites; where users will not only be able to connect with each other, but with the actual athletes. They will be able to chat with them in real time, as well as connect the sites to your Twitter and Facebook to show your updates to your friends.
Facebook will be posting constant updates to events, and allowing Olympic sponsors to create custom apps for people to subscribe.
Twitter will be doing frequent updates on the Olympic sponsored pages, but what it will really be great for is the constant microblog-style hashtagged updates by its users. These updates will allow up to the minute scores and personal opinions to be shared as one stream of consciousness.
YouTube will be used solely to promote team USA to the public. Although this seems like a limited group to advertise to, there are actually 211 million Americans expected to watch the London games.
On top of the main sites, viewers of the Olympics will now be able to use social media applications that didn’t even exist in 2008. We now have outlets like Instagram, Foursquare, Google+, etc. to further support our countries of choice.
It will be interesting to see what kind of effect our open global communication through social media will have on people’s interest in our only worldwide games.
What do you think about using social media to discuss the Olympics? Do you think it will increase viewer interest?