2,000 tweets per second – and rising

Posted on: February 9, 2014 by Paul Moore Olmstead

In the past the Olympic experience was divided in 2. There were those lucky ones in the host city and who may have been able to attend some events and then there were the rest of us who watched it on TV. That is, active participants in situ and passive viewers everywhere else.

Number of tweets related to the Olympic Games

Not anymore. From our own living room (or sitting on the bus or wherever) through social media we can cheer for our national sides or our favorite athletes and the world can hear us! In London there were peaks of over 2,000 games related tweets per second and this number will only continue to go up. And if you think this means you’re your tweet amongst this multitude is meaningless then think again. As described in Instant Zeitgeist we can now analyze this information in real time – how many people are talking?, what are they talking about?, is it positive or negative? We can take a snapshot of what the world is thinking and feeling about that event, person, athlete, whatever RIGHT NOW!

Multi-device Olympic Games

But it doesn’t stop there. The Sochi Games are the first truly multi-device Olympic Games – tablet, smartphone, PC and still of course the TV. And this means we can now be an active participant from anywhere in the world! In the past we had no choice about what Olympic events to watch – we watched whatever our national broadcaster gave us to watch. Now, using the online applications such as the one supplied by Atos to the official Olympic Broadcasting Services as their official webcasting offering, we can choose to watch any event we want – live or recorded for VoD. This app offers live streams of all the events but also immediate access to results, bios, rules and has a sophisticated recommendation engine to make sure you don’t miss the events that most interest you.

Real-time data

And this is where we enter into the realm of big data and it gets really interesting. If we have the real time data about what the world is thinking and feeling about an event or the games in general, if we know how people (even anonymous people) are interacting with the event – what they are watching, what information interests them – the possibilities are staggering. Obviously the commercial opportunities are endless but also the social possibilities, maybe even security or political issues.

It’s still early days but the Olympics, as befits the world’s largest media event, has big data and social media as an important cornerstone of its future.

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About Paul Moore Olmstead
Director of Strategic Business Development for Global Media, Atos and member of the Scientific Community
Paul Moore Olmstead has been working in the area of innovation in the media market for over 15 years. He is based in London, UK and has dual Canadian/Spanish citizenship and degrees in Economics from the University of Toronto and Computer Business Systems at Ryerson University. Previously he spent many years on the BBC Account for Atos where he was responsible for Innovation and Sustainability and before that was the head of Media in Atos Research & Innovation. With over 25 years experience in IT, Paul has worked in wide variety of areas, including public procurement, accounting, mobility, Smart Cities, analytics and media. Paul has worked in such areas as video streaming, 3D, digital preservation, social media, video analytics and recommender systems. He has been collaborating as an external expert for the European Commission for over 10 years and has been a member of the Atos Scientific Community since 2011 where he leads research in the Media area. As well, Paul is responsible for the Media Industry in the Atos Expert Community.

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