After an unprecedented deal with the official Olympics broadcaster, NBC, Facebook has taken it a step further by collaborating directly with the IOC and the National Olympic Committees of more than 10 participating nations.
This groundbreaking collaboration will see the social media giant working together with hundreds of athletes and influencers broadcasting their personal experiences through their personal Facebook and Instagram handles.
Popular athletes such as Michael Phelps (USA), Missy Franklin (USA), Eliabeth Steitz (GER) and Jennifer Abel (CAN) and celebrities Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway and Steffi Graf among others who shared their personal experiences from the Opening Ceremony and many more moments.
In addition to Facebook’s previous agreement with NBC to stream highlights of the sporting events from the Olympic Games everyday on their platform, Facebook is utilizing their live streaming feature, Facebook Live and Facebook 360, to provide an enhanced viewership experience.
“We’re excited to be working with the IOC, Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, official broadcasters and the broader Olympic Movement to deliver exciting highlights, exclusive Live video around Rio and behind the scenes content from Rio to our global communities on Facebook and Instagram,” said Dan Reed, Facebook’s Head of Global Sports Partnerships. “By giving people the ability to engage and share their passion for the Games and their favorite teams, we will help connect our global communities with the Olympic Games — and each other.”
Facebook is also introducing a new feature allowing fans to celebrate and support their respective country through personalized photo filters and frames inspired by their national colours. Masquerade filter options are also available with national colors of countries such as Russia, United States of America, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Argentina and the host nation Brazil.
Instagram is launching personalized channels in its Search and Explore section to feature Rio and all the activity happening in the host city.
Facebook has also launched a specific Tagboard to collectively feature Facebook Live videos from the Rio Olympics all in one place for easier access.
Messenger, another one of Facebook’s supporting apps, will feature an official Olympic chat bot which will dole out latest information about the Games to fans.
The Games commenced on August 5th and are already dominating conversation on Facebook with 52 million people indulging in 109 million interactions about the Opening Ceremony of the Games alone. Instagram witnessed 21 million people had 52 million interactions related to the Opening Ceremony and will only grow.
NBC also have an existing agreement with Snapchat, one of Facebook’s direct competitors, to stream Live Stories throughout the Games.
It would appear the IOC and Facebook have ambitious plans of making Rio 2016 the biggest Olympic Games ever, in terms of viewership by using the social media inventory at their disposal.