The soccer World Cup is bigger than both the Olympics and the Super Bowl combined when it come to interactions on Facebook. People love having conversations about the various games and some of the controversial referee decisions on the social media site. The most surprising thing about this fact is that the soccer tournament is only one week in.
There have been some shocking moments in the tournament, including last World Cup winners Spain getting knocked out in the group stages after losing its first two games. England has also been knocked out early, with the current team being the first to be knocked out in the group stages since 1958.
All England fans took to various social media accounts to commiserate, with some blaming manager Roy Hodgson. However, the manager will not be fired just yet. He will be kept on until the European Championship in two years time, where hopefully he can at least get England to the knock-out games of the tournament.
Facebook saw World Cup discussions even before the games, just like the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Some of the discussions surrounded the decisions for who would be playing in each of the squads. England’s was one of the most controversial as Hodgson decided to remove the majority of his older players and brought in a relatively new and young squad. The decision was arguably based on the way players showed their worth after the Premiership games.
On Facebook, the World Cup has proven to be a bigger talking point compared to the Olympics and Super Bowl combined. Even when the Academy Awards are included, the soccer tournament is still the biggest talking point. Country fans are even discussing games that mean nothing for their own teams just yet, because it is such a major event around the world.
According to statistics, 85 percent of those discussing the tournament live outside the United States. This is surprising considering 80 percent of Facebook users are from the United States.
Global Operations and Media Partnerships Vice President of Facebook Justin Osofsky is not surprised that the sporting event has become a big conversation starter on the social media giant, as all big sporting events see something similar. However, the current rate of conversations is a surprise, and Osofsky has deemed it “extraordinary.”
So far, there have been 459 million interactions about the games, and that number is going to increase as the tournament continues. The Sochi Olympic games only had 45 million users discussing the events, while the Super Bowl saw 50 million users interacting. The Academy Awards saw a much lower interaction with 11.3 million people talking. Considering many posts went viral, it is an “extraordinary” feat for the soccer tournament.
Some of the interactions are due to the way Facebook has promoted the games. It has created special hashtags to use throughout the games, so users can search for them and find a range of discussions that they can join in with. However, the owners likely never expected to see the World Cup to become bigger than the Olympics and Super Bowl combined on Facebook.
By Alexandria Ingham