DUBAI: Following a year of delays, the Olympics are underway in Tokyo and, as with many real-life events, viewers are turning to social media to watch, comment and follow the developments.
On the opening weekend, from July 23 to 25, daily tweet volumes went up by a massive 165 percent.
In response to the increased activity around the Olympics, Twitter has introduced new features and tweaks to the platform such as an official Olympics emoji, for the first time, in more than 30 languages including Arabic. It has also introduced emojis dedicated to sporting events such as archery, golf, fencing and tennis; gold, silver and bronze medal emojis; and country flag emojis when users tweet a three-character country hashtag such as #KSA, #EGY and #UAE.
Another hashtag-based feature is #ExpertEngine. When a user tweets the hashtag #ExpertEngine along with @Olympics and a sporting event hashtag such as #Wrestling, the user will automatically receive a video reply with information about that sport.
Class is in session
Become a REAL #Olympics expert
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 21, 2021
In another first, Twitter has created a dedicated tab in the Explore section called #TokyoOlympics, which will feature country-specific Event Pages including UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, as well as dedicated sports pages featuring top tweets from trusted accounts.
The platform has also created specific lists featuring curated tweets, such as Arab athletes at Tokyo, Latest news on Tokyo in Arabic, Team UAE at Tokyo, Team KSA at Tokyo, and Team Egypt at Tokyo among others.
“Make no mistake, Twitter will be the roar of the crowd in the coming weeks and where sports fans everywhere will be coming for the latest content and conversation,” said Jay Bavishi, sports partnerships, Twitter, in a blog post.