This month, London will play host to 10,500 athletes and 11 million visitors as we see the start of 2012 Olympics this week. While there may still be dispute as to whether London 2012 is the "greenest Olympics ever" it certainly looks set to be the most watched, tweeted, tagged, liked and blogged about games so far.
“The London 2012 Olympics will be truly social and fun. We are at a dawn of a new age of sharing and connecting, and London 2012 will ignite the first conversational games between athletes and fans.” Alex Huot, the IOC’s head of social media.
But how is the London Olympics any different to the one held in Beijing in 2008?
Well four years is a long time. Back then the relatively new site Twitter had 6 million users, now it has more than 140 million. Facebook similarly has grown from 140 million to a ridiculous 900 million. Looking at how the figures have grown for these two social sites alone, we can see how social media has transformed since the last Summer Olympics. That’s without taking into account figures from newer sites like Google+ or Pinterest. Even technology has come on leaps and bounds since 2008, with the rapid increase in sales of Smart phones and Tablets, meaning even more people have readily available access to social sites and information online.
So how is the Olympics getting its ‘Social’ on for London 2012?
-They also have their own Twitter account, Facebook page and are making use of some of the smaller platforms such as Foursqaure, Tumblr and along with over 400 Olympians, the ICO has a dedicated Instagram account.
-Over 300,000 users have the London 2012 Google+ page in their circles, with many posts receiving well over 50 comments and +1s.
-Twitter users can follow @Olympics, @paralympic, @IOCMedia and @London2012 or the Telegraph has compiled a list of the top 50 people to follow on Twitter throughout the games. (If you're travelling to London, you can also find all the latest travel updates with @GAOTG)
-The mood of the British tweeting public will also determine the colour of the London Eye, depending on the overall positive or negative sentiment of the tweets, in the world's first Media driven light show.
Not on Facebook or Twitter (really? ok then) fear not, the BBC will be providing radio coverage and 24 hour live HD streams of the games which means 2,500 hours. On their BBC Sport site, every sport, country, athlete and venue will have its own page, so you can keep up-to-date with everything, all the time.
So thanks to limitless coverage and social media, this years Olympic Games promise to be the most viewed in history. Even if you’re not able to make it to any of the London2012 events, the likelihood is you’ll be able to find out and congratulate an Olympian on winning a medal, before they know they've even won.