The 2012 Olympics have been interesting in a way unique to the games as a whole. In essence, it has been the first games with widespread attention focused on the social media side of things. Athletes have regularly updated twitter accounts and Facebook pages, interact with fans and celebrate wins online. As such, tracking their influence has become an interesting side project for many Olympic viewers.
The above graph, per Darren Rovell of ESPN, tracks social media growth over the course of the games.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) August 11, 2012
It’s a bit funny to track this by percentiles as you’ll note that both Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps took on over 1,000,000 followers on twitter but had a relatively miniscule percentage of growth because their follower bases were so big to begin with. Conversely, it makes sense that Olympic darlings Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin would see the biggest rise in followers as their stars have risen dramatically.
No Canadians made the official Wall Street Journal list that Rovell tweeted, but there’s no doubt that they saw a distinct growth in followship as well.
They have the internet on computers now. Who knew?