by Kyle Nardine
(ABOVE: image via TAPinto.net)
The 2020 Summer Olympics have come and gone as fast as Sydney McLaughlin and Athing Mu can run, but we’ll always have the memories of the games.
And in a year where there were no fans at the Olympics, social media companies like Facebook and Instagram helped make sure fans at home felt close to the action in Tokyo.
“Ultimately, our apps help break down the barriers between athletes and fans — and that was true during these Olympics more than ever before” said Evan Shugerman of Facebook Athlete Partnerships.
Facebook had a wide array of tools for fans to use to catch up on the Olympics and root for their favorite athletes.
One of those tools included an Olympics Information Hub on Facebook where fans could see highlights from the sporting events, team overviews, and medal counts.
Shugerman was pleased with how many people used the tools that Facebook offered to follow the games.
“We were excited to see people use a number of our products to connect during the Games, with women leading the way on Facebook. Over the course of the Games, 65% of people talking about the Olympics on Facebook in the U.S. were women. Seven of the top ten U.S. athletes that drove the most interactions on Facebook during the Olympics were women as well”.
Instagram provided sports fans with a chance to see what goes on outside of the games, and in the Olympic Village. “Athletes used Instagram Stories to take us behind the scenes in the Olympic Village, and Instagram Reels to show off a day in the life in Tokyo. Some athletes did Q&A’s in Stories to interact directly with fans, while others used Instagram Live to share their gold medal celebrations with their communities back home” said Shugerman on Instagram.
Speaking of Instagram, New Jersey athletes were a hit on the app. Central Jersey native and gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin had over 1.2 million interactions on Instagram and increased her followers by 53%. Trenton native Athing Mu increased her followers on Instagram by 144% and had over 260,000 interactions on the app.
Overall Olympic Athletes on Instagram gained more than 75 million followers and drove home 410 million interactions.
Even though the 2020 Summer Olympics are over, in a few months the Winter Olympics will be here and while Facebook doesn’t have any specific plans yet Shugerman says that “We’ll continue to look for ways to help connect fans to the content, stories, and athletes they care about most”.