I’ve never been much of a soccer fan. Both myself & my youngest brother were American football players, and though my middle brother played the sport, my interest in it was nil. Hell, my verbal taunting of friends who enjoyed soccer wasn’t something I kept under wraps– especially when the World Cup came around every four years.
I do, however, consider myself a sports fan. From the White Sox to Bears, Blackhawks to Bulls, sports aren’t necessarily my first choice for television entertainment (OK, that’s a lie– my TV is always turned to the Bears Sunday mornings in the Fall), but, I quite often finding myself watching some sporting event live– with Twitter right in tow.
This year, for whatever reason, I have been highly engaged with the World Cup. Granted, I’ve really only viewed Team USA games– but still, by no conscience decision of my own, I have viewed every game with football-like passion & intensity.
This is thanks, to no small part, to Twitter.
It’s no secret, to those of us already heavily involved in the social network, that the “real-time” nature of Twitter brings it to the forefront during breaking news and televised events. The Super Bowl, a heavily Tweeted event here in the States, is a prime example of how differently Twitter is used than, say, Facebook– the latter of which often lags seriously behind in “breaking” popular news stories. With the World Cup, the entire world becomes involved; leading to a serious influx of not only real-time news, but the insights and viewpoints of people from all corners of the Earth.
Again, though I can’t nail down exactly why, the combination of the worldwide conversation happening on Twitter, and possibly the thrill of the very fact that the US is still in it, has given me yet another televised event for me to be excited about this year.
And, apparently, I’m not the only one.
On its blog, Twitter recently announced that during the round-robin stage of this year’s World Cup, there were over 300 million tweets about the event. Just last night during the Brazil/Chile knockout match, the world record set during last year’s Super Bowl was broken, as users clocked an astounding 389k Tweets per minute. 16.4 million Tweets were sent during the match in all.
— Twitter Data (@TwitterData) June 28, 2014
The United States will take on Belgium this Tuesday in their first elimination game of the tournament. Whether or not my interest in the World Cup continues following this match is anyone’s guess (and, really, depends on the outcome I guess), but, one thing’s for certain– the world won’t be giving up on soccer anytime soon. And neither will their reliance on Twitter during the event.