How did the web cover the Olympics?

22nd Aug 2016
How did the web cover the Olympics?

Another Olympic Games has come and gone - and the Internet kept us updated every step of the way.

Since 1896, the Olympic Games have been a major event for both athletes and fans alike and this year was no different. Thousands of athletes competed together to represent their home countries in front of the world and google was there every step of the way to help followers stay up-to-date

When a user searched Google for 'Rio Olympics' and other Olympic-related searches, they could find event schedules, TV schedules, medal counts and athlete information for more than 30 countries, without even having to click on the actual search results. If you were searching with the Google app on Android or iOS you could even select an option to receive automatic updates.

The Alphabet-owned Google had the option of adding a shortcut to your home screen; by searching for something Olympic related and clicking on "Add," a shortcut would appear and link to Google's Olympics hub. With Google Maps Street View users were able to view different parts of Rio and Olympic Games venues, and you could keep up to date with the latest search trends using Google Trends which tracked the top Rio-related searches worldwide.

But it's not just Google who were jostling for the fans attention - Facebook streamed exclusive Olympic footage along with Instagram and partnered with NBC to become the Olympics 'social command centre'. Meanwhile Youtube also streamlined official broadcasters' event highlights in more than 60 countries, and sent 15 top Youtube stars to Rio so they could see what it was like to be at the games with mobile live streaming.

However, for me, the BBC triumphed again with their 360-degree virtual reality coverage of the Olympics. Pitched to Samsung Gear VR, users of iOS and Android could use the 'BBC Sport 360' app to view sporting events at multiple angles, whilst the opening and closing ceremonies could be viewed at a full 360 degrees. If you weren't lucky enough to own the headgear, or even one of the more cost-effective options, users could get an idea of how it worked by taking at look at the BBC Taster website. Oohh now imagine sitting down to watch EastEnders and being able to see the Queen Vic at all angles...

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