As the planet opens its eyes to the World Cup 2014, once more in Brazilian soil, soccer admirers will be focused on something more than the matches. Not because the action on the field is not important, but actually the opposite. Soccer might not be the most popular sport in the United States, but social media is making the FIFA World Cup a blooming experience. Capable of attracting more spectators than last year’s Super Bowl. Facebook and Twitter are tweaking functions and gearing up with new features. Offering their users unique customized access to the information they want to keep track off.
For all social media devotees, there will be a thousand new shortcuts dedicated to soccer. To enjoy the FIFA World Cup event keeping up with games, stats, player’s information and schedules in real time. Right at the touch of a button or using hash tags related to the matches.
Facebook is launching two different sections. The first one is the Trending World Cup. Which will allow users to check on the latest info, including goals, matches and comments related to the subject made by their own friends. This tool will appear at the top of the news feed when the user searches for FIFA World Cup or Trending World Cup. They also offer a game calendar on the right-hand side of the page with date, time and a countdown. Underneath it a few links to those team’s Facebook profiles are presented.
The second site of the social media company provides complementary opinions of the soccer competition, introduced with an intriguing campaign. It is called the Facebook Ref. it will serve as an official referee who will comment and give substantial input on the games. Facebook opted for a countdown to present this feature, with videos of a man in his mid-fifties preparing all the tools needed for the job. Although he shows his face, his name has not been released. The bio talks about a person who was created to be a referee and counts with 35 years-of-experience. He has the responsibility of keeping users engaged to this social media blooming experience with his productive comments of the FIFA World Cup.
Twitter announced last week that fans will be able to catch up with all 64 games, every move, goal and fault in real-time. Users were already able to follow individual players and teams in the past. Now using the numeral sign as a hash tag before the terms World Cup, country vs. country matches, or the FIFA’s account, they can have official feedback.
Users can also see in their timelines a calendar for the games and an option to view the match. This takes the experience to a different level. These features allow any soccer fan to feel almost inside of the stadium where the games are taking place. The company brilliantly combined in one feed, the option of having official information about the competition, user timelines and player’s accounts with photos and videos. Also there is an option to participate in the conversation faster by introducing an automatic hash tag engine, that writes it up once you click to compose a twit icon on each game’s timeline. This unifies the terms used to identify conversations and saves time.
According to FIFA, the Soccer World Cup is the most viewed sport event on the planet. The month-long production final game of South Africa 2010 was watched by almost 210 million people, for at least one whole minute. This was almost 100 million more than the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and was nearly double the last Super Bowl that had around 108 million spectators.
This year, technology will make the planet bloom as the FIFA World Cup 2014 becomes one with users as social media allows them to live the competition closer than ever. The event will also be a real test for Internet’s heavy traffic, as it will get busier by the days. The fight now is not only through a TV screen. Millions of people everywhere will be on top of the action on their devices. Marketing experts will be studying every inch of the field, teams and player’s moves to design more targeted ad campaigns as the tournament goes on and teams go home.
Commentary By Margot Carvallo