The ongoing Rio Olympics may be held thousands of miles away in a different time-zone but social networking sites and apps are ensuring that you have an immersive, almost-real experience of the games, from your smart phones and home computers.
Every popular social media channel – from Twitter to Facebook to Google Now – is finding innovative ways to engage an entire nation of sports enthusiasts. A good starting point to ride the Rio wave is to get basic information from Google. Users of Google Now, Google’s intelligent ‘personal assistant’ feature, who have searched for any keyword even remotely linked to the Olympics, automatically receive Now Cards that provide the TV schedule, medal standings, upcoming events of the day, links to the official event websites, along with suggested news stories relevant to India.
Having got all you need to know about the games, you can hop over to your favourite social media channel to advocate your support, cheer your favourite country and get real-time updates on multiple events. Facebook has created a special section in its news feed that gives you everything that fellow users are posting on the Olympics along with exclusive reading material. Twitter too has dedicated “Moments” that feature anecdotes and news from ground zero, in addition to the regular frames that you can use to exhibit your support.
Social media evangelists are excited about the use of various channels to engage audiences around the world. Durgesh Kaushik, who has led online marketing at Facebook in Europe and APAC and is a thought leader in digital marketing and social media says, “Social media has provided an unprecedented opportunity for fans to not only follow, but also to immerse themselves into the whole Olympics experience. In a way, all of us will be participating in the upcoming Rio Olympics, thanks to the tools and features launched by Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook has launched a personalized Olympics section in the News Feed, in addition to Olympic filters and frames, Twitter has introduced followable Moments and other features that will help followers tune into Olympics experience.”
There has never been a better time to use your favourite networking tool to proudly show your support of the tricolor at the biggest sporting spectacle in the world. As Durgesh says, “Indians should leverage social media to show their support to our athletes. Our participation and social chatter around Rio Olympics will also help create the awareness and excitement around Olympics. This will encourage many more Indian youth to take up athletics as a career choice, which will translate into more medals in future olympics.”
Three cheers to that!