The London Olympics are being billed as the first “social games”. For whilst Facebook and Twitter were already well established during the last Olympic games in Beijing, they enjoyed just a fraction of their current popularity. Facebook now has nearly 900 million accounts and Twitter 140 million. No wonder the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are determined to harness social media in their favour.
The IOC have created an Athletes’ Hub to connect fans and competitors. The hub will act as an aggregator of former and current Olympians’ social media output and post the content for fans to interact with. It will also incorporate a gamification layer and provide access to exclusive athlete tips and videos. Fans will also have the chance to win virtual and real-world prizes depending on their online activity.
Let’s hope the that the newly renovated Olympic Museum in Lausanne – due to reopen at the end of 2013 – will take a leaf out of the IOC’s book and embrace social media as a way of engaging visitors. A history of how the games have been followed since the first modern games of 1896 up until now would also go down a treat. The IOC have made a start with this fascinating infographic.