Realtime Olympics: 60% of London 2012 Visits Came Via Mobile; Facebook Was 2nd Highest Traffic Source

Olympics Online Engagement Mostly Mobile (via PaidContent)A new compilation of stats from the 2012 Olympic Games reveals that 60% of visits to the official London 2012 Games website and apps came from mobile devices.  And both the BBC and NBC also had strong Olympic mobile showings:  one-third of BBC web visits and one-tenth of video streams were from mobile, while 16% of NBC web users and 45% of NBC video requests came from mobile (PaidContent).

The Games organizers also used a remarkable array of platforms, strategies and applications to drive fan engagement around the games.

The London 2012 stats – showing engagement across 77 digital products – were compiled by Alex Balfour, the head of new media for London 2012.  Social media played an enormous role in driving traffic and engagement:

  • 66% of web traffic (to during the Games came from search; Facebook was the top referring traffic source after search
  • The organization counted 4.7 million social media followers across Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare

The Mobile Olympics: 60% of Visits To London 2012 Site and Apps Came Via Mobile

Creating a Realtime Experience Around the Digital Games

The organizers aimed to give their website a live, “realtime” feel. The top of every page featured a drop down menu with live events, and each country page featured a list of athletes competing that day.  A pop up “sticky bar” at the bottom of each page featured live results.  There were realtime web scoreboards for all 302 events, and realtime results and live torch relay tracking on the mobile apps.

Many Ways to Engage

Over 2,000 hours of user testing helped make sure the website was easily accessible for users of all abilities. Alternative formats included a dyslexic view, larger font sizes, easy read version (with summaries), daily highlights, and video content.

Apps created for the 2012 Games featured unique, sortable schedules for desktop, mobile and tablet devices; information on every athlete, medal and country; profile pages for the most popular athletes; maps of all venues with seating charts, custom pins and social check-ins; lists of all events across the London 2012 Festival; and the torch relay (including map).

London 2012 on Facebook, Twitter and Beyond

The Games also had a strong presence on Facebook, with 8 accounts and 1.8 million “likes” on the social network. The majority of users engaging with the Olympics on Facebook were young: at the peak of the Games, 43% of those using the 2012 Olympics Facebook page were under 24.  According to Facebook, there over over 100 million “likes” across all athlete and team pages on Facebook.

The 2012 Games had 48 different Twitter accounts, with a total of 1.9 million followers and 150 million tweets about the Games (according to Twitter).  Most (38) were sports accounts, with two mascot accounts and six Twitter cameras “with personality.”

Engagement was a priority here, too, with showing visualizations of live tweets across 40 countries and during the opening and closing ceremonies.  Interaction around teams was also high, with the #SupportYourTeam hashtag seeing 1.55 million tweets for 204 teams on desktop and mobile.

Efforts on other social platforms included: 818,000 followers on Google+, with 5,000 participating in global “events” on that platform for opening and closing ceremonies; over 6 million views on YouTube of “Rock the Games” live performances; and a backstage blog on Tumblr live during opening and closing ceremonies.

The 2012 Olympics also saw solid engagement on location-based services, with 60,000 fans on Foursquare and check-ins from 120 countries to Olympic and Torch Relay badges on the geo-location platform.  QR codes were on all key spectator publications, and over 10 million “location-based mobile push messages” were sent to all ticket-holders with exclusive photos, spectator surveys, and more info.

Want more details?  Check out Alex’s full presentation below:

What do you think — was all the effort worth it?