Social Media Craze at the World Cup

By Karleigh Creighton

There are moments in every sporting event where the players, coaches, commentators and fans hold their breath together. The time feels infinite as a game deciding play is set in motion and everything and everyone in the arena or on the field seemingly stops. It could be the moment a baseball is hit over the fence within inches of the foul pole in the bottom of the ninth with two outs or as that last second shot is fired off from just behind the three point line to decide who will be victorious. The stadium stands still as the last chance pass for a touchdown goes spiraling through the air and most recently, the world has been holding its breath as shots are fired in the World Cup shootouts.
Oxygen is not the only thing lacking as superstar strikers begin their kicks in these dramatic World Cup shootouts, Twitter activity falls into obscurity as well.
Twitter recently released data showing the dramatic rise and fall of activity throughout the course of a shootout. As a player sets the moment in motion, making a move toward the ball, striking it and sending it sailing through the air, it’s like Twitter hits a pause button. Activity plummets down far below baseline while fans keep their eyes glued to the ball soaring through the air intently hoping it will or praying it will not elude the keeper.
Just moments later, Twitter erupts and surges to a record breaking amount of activity with either triumphant fans expressing their satisfaction or discouraged individuals, who didn’t see the result they were hoping for, voicing discontent. Twitter released the graph below to show exactly how dramatic the rise and fall of activity is in only the few seconds it takes for a shot to occur.

Activity was first tested in the Brazil versus Chile shootout. The image above shows the activity during David Luiz’s opening shot. Twitter continued to monitor activity during the pivotal moments of every shootout and found this same pattern of activity to be recurring.
Do you find this pattern to be true in your tweeting endeavors while watching key moments in your favorite sporting events? Can you peel your eyes away to send a quick tweet or do you stay intently focused, waiting to see the result first?
The World Cup is not only causing extraordinary Twitter activity in its timing of tweets, but its leaderboards are dominated by some of the world’s most famous soccer stars.
Brazil’s superstar striker, Neymar, has produced seven of the top 10 most reached posts in the tournament so far. Teammate David Luiz has also influenced the top standing posts with five out of the top twenty.

Twitter is not the only social media site dominated by the World Cup. Facebook is also seeing some remarkable activity of its own.
Early last week, Facebook announced that the World Cup is currently the largest, most talked about event- sports or otherwise- in Facebook history. The soccer tournament has generated more than one billion interactions on the social media site, and is now wearing the crown for most popular Facebook event… ever.
Facebook interactions include the “Likes” of a certain subject, comments on posts about it, as well as original posts created regarding the topic, and 220 million Facebook users have chosen to interact with conversation about the world cup.

To put in perspective exactly how dominate the World Cup has been in Facebook statistics; let’s take a look at the figures for other popular sporting events.

Compared to the World Cup’s one billion interactions, the most recent Olympic Games, the Winter Games in Sochi, generated only 120 million interactions from just 45 million people, while The Super Bowl weighs in with 185 million interactions from 50 million people. These numbers seem large on their own, but are dwarfed when compared to those of the 2014 World Cup.

What event do you think will dominate the social media scene next? As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

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