Around the globe, soccer fanatics have been waiting for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and it has been such a craze that it has been seen throughout many blogs, hashtags, posts and mentions on social media. According to Variety, since the beginning of June, the catchphrase “World Cup” has had nearly 20 million mentions worldwide. On the most popular social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, it has been mentioned almost 70 million times.
The World Cup kicked off today and FIFA’s official website invited soccer fans around the world to get connected through its digital stadium. Fans can follow what is going on at this big event by using the hashtag #joinin, downloading the FIFA app or by going to its official website. This digital global stadium opened up an hour before the start of the tournament and those following had the privilege to be the first ones to see the team sheets. Now that The World Cup has officially started, fans can follow the matches live, and win prizes through interactive games offered by the FIFA website and social media sites. Followers of this world known tournament can even win the kick-off ball through a contest. Participants can submit one entry per match, but they can enter as many kick-off ball contests as they would like.
Twitter has become one of the major players in the social media craze of the World Cup. Today, when Twitter users signed in, the social media platform asked them which team they were supporting, and also gave them the option to change and customize their profile photo and header with their favorite team. In addition, for fans who want to be part of the tournament’s conversation, the hashtag #joinin lets fans share photos, post comments, and bet on who will win the upcoming matches, while showing their passion for this sport. Once again, Twitter also introduced the hashflags that it used in 2010. The user will add a hashtag, follow by the country’s first three letter word abbreviation, and then a flag will appear next to their tweet to show their pride and support for their team. Also, for the official event updates, fans can search #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 on Twitter and get the latest news.
Facebook has also entered the FIFA World Cup social media craze. The social site has 23 million fans and counting. Around every hour, or when news arrive, Facebook updates the fans with many pictures of the tournament’s highlights and links to the official FIFA website. In addition, Facebook has created a digital commentator called Facebook Ref. He will update the fans with the latest news and matches of the tournament. The social network has also launched a community called Trending World Cup, where fans can see score updates the minute they happen, and interact with other viewers on real time. In addition it has a Fan Map, where fans can click on the top players’ faces at the bottom of the page, and see how many fans they have and their location, either by country or city. Since most of the social media apps are available through mobile devices, Facebook has also concentrated in making a simpler app, so users who do not own a smartphone have ability to track the tournament. The World Cup will last till Sunday, July 13.
By Marcia Villavicencio