The official Olympic Facebook page has launched today -- let over-sharing chatter about the games BEGIN! The London 2012 Olympic's official Facebook page is designed to let Olympians share photos of their journey and chat with fans and athlete profiles. Essentially everything that a Facebook page is designed to do. One thing that does separate this Facebook fan page from the rest out there is that Facebook revealed that it would carry no advertising around any of its official Olympics pages. *Cue dramatic music.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has set the bar extremely high for its affiliates and wants to be very strategic in its advertising partnerships.
Last month Twitter suspended the account of a group for using a doctored version of the London 2012 logo, after it received a complaint from LOCOG, stating that the account misleading with regard to brand affiliation.
Facebook’s Olympic page features some 200+ athletes’ profiles (a sliver of the 10,500 expected to compete), including British hopefuls Jessica Ennis and Tom Daley, dedicated pages to specific sports and a complete timeline history of the competition since the 1800s. That bit of news may be detrimental for my work productivity today.
It has taken LOCOG and Facebook roughly 18 months to work out just how to create the official Facebook page and get all the content on there.
Athletes will not be permitted to post any video from within an Olympic venue as they are subject to the tight guidelines over content posted on social networks, but it looks like other video from previous competitions could be added to the site.
Considering that at the time of the Beijing Olympics, Facebook has a mere 100 million users and there are now more than 900 million people on the site, there is sure to be serious global Facebook buzz around the Games.
The LOCOG arrangement with Facebook is not exclusive, as the organization is working to enhance and launch dedicated Olympic Twitter and Google+ pages and announced a partnership last month with Foursquare.
The committee is also building Tumblr and Instagram pages and, in China, it is working with Sina Weibo and Youku.
While it is highly unusual for a fan page to be given exemption from an advertising from Facebook, it is clear that the partnership is still giving the social networking site a lot. By the Olympics creating offical fan pages on Facebook, Facebook gets all the additional people and time spent following the Games as well as all the great analytics that come from a worldwide event. It will be really interesting to see just what athletes, games and moments get the most "likes," comments and controversy on Facebook.
It will also be interesting to see this, now, very instant feedback to a global event unfolding for the first time ever. You can bet that Facebook will be getting a lot out of this and so will those of us watching.
A lot of Olympic firsts
With the 2012 London Olympics starting on July 27, it is also worth noting that NBC will live stream the Games for the first time ever.
Users can see any event on NBCOlympics.com, or one of two mobile apps, without having it tape delayed. In all, 3,500 hours will be streamed on the site.
And perhaps the biggest innovation of all this year will be the partnership between Panasonic and NBC that will allow the Olympic games to be broadcast in 3D to all cable, satellite and telco subscribers.
NBC will be airing 5.535 hours of Olympic coverage in total, equal to 231 days. Over the 19 days of actual games, that is an average of 291 hours per day. This also includes two days of soccer coverage that will occur before the actual games begin.
The total hours of Olympic coverage is twice the amount of every single previous summer Olympics combined. NBC’s flagship channel will be airing 272.5 hours of coverage, the most ever.
In 2008, the Beijing Olympics had 225 hours of coverage, nearly 50 hours less.
The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics brought in 34.9 million viewers. Those are not numbers NBC can afford to turn down.