MM Awards

1.5bn Olympic Interactions on Facebook

Tim Maytom

Zac Efron's post with gymnast Simone Biles was the most 'loved' post using Facebook's Reactions tool

Zac Efron's post with gymnast Simone Biles was the most 'loved' post using Facebook's Reactions tool

More than 277m people had over 1.5bn interactions with Olympic content on Facebook over the course of the Rio 2016 games, the social network has revealed.

Users in host country Brazil were the 'loudest', interacting with the most Olympic content, followed by those in the US, UK, Mexico and India. The most popular event to follow was swimming, followed by gymnastics, track events, football and beach volleyball.

15.2m people customised their profile picture with a nationally-themed Olympic frame created by Facebook to celebrate the games, with India, the Phillipines and Pakistan proving the most popular countries.

The most popular athletes included US swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, gymnast Simone Biles, footballer Neymar and sprinter Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt's gold medal in the 100m was one of the most popular individual posts too, as was Christiano Ronaldo's post congratulating him.

Other popular posts included Neymar's victory pose, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulating badminton player PV Sindhu, and Simone Biles' meeting with actor Zac Efron, which was also the most 'loved' moment.

Facebook's live video capability also proved popular among Olympics fans, providing them with up-to-the-minute coverage and behind the scenes footage. Michael Phelps' live broadcast before his final team race, where he confirmed his retirement, was the most viewed live broadcast by an Olympian during the games, racking up over 3.97m views.

The Olympics proved to be a key moment of competition between Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, all of which focused on promoting live video during Rio 2016 as a way of boosting engagement and generating conversations around key moments and events at the games. Snapchat racked up 50m Olympic video views during the games, and though Twitter has yet to release statistics on video viewing through its platform, it did see over 187m tweets sent about the games.

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