London 2012 To Be The First Social Media Olympics

Social media | 18th Jul

The London 2012 Olympic Games are being heralded as the ‘first social media Olympics’. Eagle-eyed readers amongst you might be thinking “hold on, but what about Beijing?” Well, social media was not so well established back then and has grown considerably in the past 4 years.

London is expecting almost 11 million visitors during the Olympics and many of them will be armed with mobile phones and other mobile devices. It stands to reason they are going to be shouting from the rooftops about their Olympic experience especially if they were lucky enough to bag a premium ticket. Because of the high demand that will be put upon social media and the network in general during the two week event, London 2012 organisers have taken steps to ensure visitors have unprecedented access.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has launched what it is branding the Olympic Hub. This portal will consolidate a range of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. This space will be easy to access and navigate and will give users excellent access to their favourite athletes and events during the Games.

The London 2012 social media pages are getting huge attention from Olympics fans across the world. Currently London 2012 has over 6 million views on YouTube and over 400,000 likes on Facebook. And that’s before the opening ceremony has even kicked off!

However, the use of social media during the Olympics does come with a warning for athletes. You may have read about the recent case of Australian swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk posting a photo of themselves on Facebook posing with firearms in an American gun store. The pair have been banned from using any social media during the Games and will also be sent straight home once their event has finished.

Athletes are also banned from posting video to any social media network. Neither are they allowed to post any results. Instead they are encouraged to post photos and blog entries about their Olympic experience.

The IOC goes on to say that the “accreditations of any organisation or person accredited at the Olympic Games may be withdrawn without notice”.

In addition to imposing restrictions on athletes, there are even stricter rules for visitors that attend any events. The “conditions for ticket holders” which are printed on the back of tickets include: “Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes.”

One thing is for certain; London 2012 is set to have a huge impact on social media. It’s quite refreshing to see the IOC encouraging the use of social media and doing everything it can to ensure access is available for those wanting to tweet all about it. Are you lucky enough to be viewing an Olympic event? We’d love to hear about your experience and whether network access is as good as its being described.


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