In perhaps an odd move by a network editing and delaying their Olympic coverage NBC have produced a Twitter Tracker that gives a snapshot of how real time and social these games have been. Data collected by Mass Relevance on their behalf includes such nuggets as:
- More than 28.4 million tweets about the London Olympics posted in the first 10 days of competition.
- Olympic tweets peaked at a rate of 13,366 per minute, more than double the rate last year’s royal wedding. Compare that to the average number of tweets per minute between July 27th and August 6th: 1,975
- The most tweeted about athletes (as of today) were: Tom Daley (740,068 mentions), Michael Phelps (602,712) and Usain Bolt (552,939)
- Along with his gold medal scoops, Bolt also set a new Olympic record of over 80,000 tweets per minute during his 200m final victory (Mo Farah managed 10,105 during the 5,000m)
- Most popular sports were apparently swimming, basketball, gymnastics, football and athletics
Looking around the NBC site I’m not sure that all hashtags are being tracked (#olympics appears to be their preference over #london2012, and there’s no sign of the team specific ones). It would also be interesting to see this data broken down by country – I have a feeling we’d be shouting pretty loudly out there – and across more social networks. But even with that in mind, it does show that in the four years since Beijing just how much part of the viewing experience social media has become. The teams, athletes, media and individual punters have all made this a truly interactive experience. Social media has made this sport-phobe an Olympic obsessive who just might watch or do something again one day. In line with Siobhan Sharpe’s ambition, digital really is the legacy of London 2012: