The World Cup is upon us! Yes, when we simply say World Cup you know which one we mean. Not the Athletics World Cup (yes there’s such a thing) or the Rugby World Cup or the Cricket World Cup. The football World Cup is simply the World Cup. In 2014, just like in 2010, the major social networking platforms namely Facebook and Twitter, are giving their all. Facebook has announced a hub thanks to its new hashtag feature that will act as a complete World Cup timeline throughout the entire duration of the global football tournament, Trending World Cup. Twitter has its hit 2010 World Cup feature, hashflags.
You may have liked individual athlete pages and team pages but remember there are 32 teams taking part in the most watched global event every four years and each of those teams has at least 23 players and a number of coaching staff you may also want to track down. What of all the news outlets, all the commentary from independent sources, all the fan jabs during the World Cup? How do you make sure you are on top of all that coverage?
Simple, this: https://www.facebook.com/worldcup
That’s the page you’ll be redirected to every time you search for #WorldCup on Facebook.com or through Facebook’s various mobile apps and the mobile site. You can bookmark it or simply make that hashtag your friend.
There’s also another feature of the hub: an interactive map that you can visit to check where the fans of each of the popular players participating in the World Cup for example Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar Jr come from.
For fixtures, just like Twitter, there’s this on your right hand side when you’re browsing the hub:
Visit Twitter.com right now. Check the right hand side of your home timeline. You should see something like this:
That should help you know what time you need to be seated ready for some heated 90 minutes (or more) of goal to goal action.
What if you know the fixtures of the day and simply want to get what everyone is saying about the World Cup on Twitter? The Hashflag. Just put a hashtag and add the official three letters representing your country of choice. For instance I am supporting Brazil so if I want to tweet anything about it that will also be visible to other fans globally when searching, I’ll simply add #BRA to my tweet. That automatically turns the tag into a flag of the corresponding country hence the name hashflag.
The hashtags #WorldCup and #WorldCup2014 will take you to a central page containing tweets from all the key players participating in the World Cup (FIFA officials, coaches, players etc), people you follow and most important of all they be key in displaying in tweet format minute by minute action when a match is underway (I suppose this is at this point basic knowledge).
To provide an interactive map showing which teams are getting all the love on Twitter, Twitter has put up a tool where you can vote for your team. This is the same tool it will use to tally the hashflags so as to provide engagement metrics during the time of the tournament.
So far we only know of Facebook and Twitter giving the World Cup its much deserved preferential treatment but we won’t be shocked if others come out to cash in on the football craze that will grip the world for the next one month.
If you’re a sucker for Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram then good old plain hashtags should do the trick for now if you don’t want to be burdened into following so many sporting accounts just to get regular updates on what’s transpiring in Brazil.