Today kicks off the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which unites 31 countries every four years for a month long soccer tournament (or football, I should say). It is the most watched sporting event in the world, with FIFA estimating nearly one billion viewers for the 2010 World Cup final. That’s a lot of eyes.
But this year, much of that attention will not just be on the television screen but the computer screen as well. It is predicted that this year’s World Cup will exceed both the Olympic Games and Super Bowl in social media mentions, making it the most social sporting event to date. Just within the last 30 days #WorldCup was tweeted roughly 1,400,400 times, which is sure to increase just by the time you’re done reading this post.
It’s no wonder Twitter and Facebook are having a competition of their own to be the go-to platform for discussing, lamenting, and celebrating the events of the World Cup. Earlier this week, Facebook launched a Trending World Cup page which presents users with news, scores, and highlights in real time so fans don’t ever miss a thing. Twitter has also created a similar Match timeline and World Cup timeline so users can stay updated with matches and scores. In addition, they have brought back the hashflag, first introduced for the 2010 World Cup. It’s quite literally a hashtag flag- a country code along with a flag emoticon.
As if that weren’t enough, Twitter is also hosting the World Cup of Tweets. Fans can vote for their country on an interactive Twitter page which generates an automatic tweet with their team’s Twitter handle and hashtags. The country whose hashflag is mentioned the most will be deemed the winner and announced during the first game of the tournament.
If you plan on posting about the matches, use the official hashtags #WorldCup, #Brazil2014, and of course #USA. Be sure to tune in when the US plays Ghana on June 16!