Social Media

Olympics inspire record Twitter conversation

London 2012 closing ceremony
London 2012 closing ceremony
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After 16 days and 150 million tweets, the London 2012 Olympics have come to a close. As witnessed by so many other major world events, huge conversation and debate happened on Twitter. We take a look at some of the numbers.

The most significant moment of the games, as measured by reaction on Twitter, came as Usain Bolt won the men’s 200m final with 80,000 relating tweets per minute (TPM). The second highest Twitter spike during competitions came as Bolt won the men’s 100m final at 74,000 TPM, then Andy Murray winning gold in the tennis singles at 57,000 TPM, Jamaica setting the world record in the men’s 4×100 relay at 52,000 TPM, and the USA beating Spain to take gold in the men’s basketball final at 41,000 TPM.

Earlier this year, the final match of the Euro 2012 football tournament between Spain and Italy generated 16.5 million tweets, peaking at 15,358 tweets per second as Spain scored their fourth and final goal of the game.

So who were the most discussed athletes on Twitter? 10 olympians garnered more than one million tweets each during the games and, as you’d expect, Usain Bolt is top of the list. Bolt is followed by Michael Phelps, Tom Daley, Ryan Lochte, Gabby Douglas, Andy Murray, Kobe Bryant, Yohan Blake, Lee Chong Wei and LeBron James.

Soccer was the most popular sport in the Olympics according to Twitter, receiving over five million tweets. Soccer was followed in popularity by the swimming events, athletics events, gymnastics and volleyball.

The extravagant opening and closing ceremonies saw record tweet statistics of their own. Last night’s closing ceremony peaked at 116,000 tweets per minute as the Spice Girls contributed to a “symphony of British music”.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.