Twitter fuels the Olympics


Image from pcmag.com

Four years ago if someone told me that Twitter would play an integral role in the 2012 Beijing Olympics, I wouldn’t have believed you. It wasn’t until about two years ago I began using Twitter. Now it makes perfect sense to me as to how twitter is such a large role in the games this year.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch website, “Twitter users have quadrupled over the past two years.”

During NBC’s Olympic coverage, the anchors mentioned Twitter heavily. They went over everything from what celebrities were writing about the games to what the fans were saying to how many Tweets are typed during certain events.

Even throughout the news programming after the Olympics coverage, NBC shows a rolling text of Tweets at the bottom of the screen.

In London, the giant rotating London Eye is lit up depending on—you guessed it—people’s Tweets. Justin Manor, the founder of Sosolimited, an interactive environment company, developed the technology to light up the London Eye based off the moods of Tweets.

A group of MIT students came up with an algorithm to figure out the moods of tweets within a 24-hour period in which Manor’s lights then turn that information into a 24-minute light show at 9 p.m. every night of the Olympics.

Aside from all the new technology this social media site is being used for, I’ve heard a lot of people argue, “Well, how important or useful can 140 characters really be? What’s the point of Twitter?”

I think the answer is simple—literally. The pure simplicity of compressing one’s thoughts into a 140-character post is what makes Twitter so intriguing. It forces people to be more concise. It limits the useless words.

While a Facebook Olympic post may have a paragraph of news, a Tweet includes only the hard facts. Everything is snappier, and it’s no surprise to me as to why the younger generations generally receive more links to news articles via twitter versus from actually going directly to the news sites.

However, the real obvious reason Twitter is fueling the Olympics may be because the UK is home to the largest amount of Twitter users in the world with USA close behind them.

I believe that Twitter, or sites similar to it, will eventually become the world’s main means of receiving news—news feeds rather than news sites. It’s slowly happening, as we see it’s prominence in the 2012 London Olympics—I can’t wait for Rio 2016.

Image from wired.co.uk

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Comments

  1. good article

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