The biggest social media event of this year- #FIFA2014

FIFA 2014

FIFA 2014 was not only a game this year. While 11 players were chasing one ball on the field, FIFA lovers have been rolling out statuses at a speed which can give those players a tough competition! As Round 16 was round the corners in early July, Facebook revealed the number of ‘Cup-related posts, likes and comments’ to cross a billion. Around 220 million users have been talking about World Cup 2014; the counting being done from the day this Tournament has begun. Not just Facebook, even Twitter has been graced by 330 million tweets. Now that makes #FIFA2014 one of the biggest events of this year.

“After the first two weeks, we saw over 300 million total tweets about the World Cup, making it one of the most tweeted events in Twitter history,” Brian Poliakoff, a Twitter communications representative quoted.


Picture Courtesy : World Cup Breaks Social Media Records, from Binary Biryani

Although the world was depressed with Brazil taking the exit, they refused to let go off the social media platforms. Their angst, happiness, depression and opinions of all kinds made way to Social Media. The ardent urge of people to share their views has officially made World cup 2014 the biggest event- in terms of sports or otherwise- in the history of Facebook.

“Facebook and the World Cup are both fundamentally global, and we knew that Facebook would become a global, mobile stadium where people connect and engage during the tournament. It turned out to be a unique moment for us, and one that has seen the highest level of conversation for any event Facebook has ever measured”~ A Facebook spokesperson told CNN in June 2014.

FIFA 2014 runs ahead of any other popular Facebook moment- for instance, The Super Bowl had 50 million people interacting about it, generating only 185 million interactions. Although the ‘ 2014 Cup’ has dwarfed other moments, it has been reported that these interactions are happening within a small but active portion of Facebook only- this portion makes up just 17% of Facebook.

Going at par with the extent of the digital conversation happening on social media, Twitter and Facebook joined the bandwagon as well. While Facebook created Trending World Cup to showcase all world cup related posts and updates from friends, Twitter arranged for a separate feed for the #WorldCup where tweets from players, selected clubs, media outlets and FIFA kept streaming in.

Hashtags are definitely a favourite for social media users. The use of a particular hashtag in support for a team- for example #MEX- immediately showed an image of that country’s flag beside the post. Twitter reported that hashtags #USA and #BRA are the most used ones in this world cup, as observed till June 12, 2014. Not just this, World Cup of Tweets initiated a well-versed discussion and prediction series as to who will take the Cup home!

However, saying that just social media conversations has led to this overwhelming global appeal of the game will be wrong. Another measure that demands mention is the FIFA World Cup “second-screen app” launched in June 2014. This app has been downloaded for more than 10 million times, where almost 3 million fans regularly accessed the videos, statistics and live match content. Although in terms of social media standards these numbers are modest, but what is alarming is that people are taking to more nontraditional measures of watching the match.

“We are proud to say that this FIFA World Cup has been the biggest multimedia sporting event in history, with more people watching matches and highlights online than ever before,” said FIFA Director of TV Niclas Ericson.

Even after Germany claimed the World cup, the excitement hasn’t really ceased to exist. Talks are still on about Messi, about Germany and about the Golden Ball award!

Feature Image Courtesy: Free Great Images

About Debby

Cofounder and Editorial Head at The Startup Channel. I am on my journey to draft the best stories from the startup world, hunt down inspiration from ecosystem enablers and more! Reach out to me if you want us to cover your story/journey. yoda (at) startups (dot) fm.
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