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The 2010 FIFA World Cup is now the most popular event in Web history. Record usage began last Friday before the wins and losses. Not since Obama’s election day victory has the Web swayed under a greater burden of Internet-connected hope.
The official FIFA World Cup website is currently receiving as many page views as Facebook. For all of us creators of the Web it’s a great time to learn more about real-time visualizations as well as how to better handle soaring usage numbers. So here’s a roundup of how Twitter, Facebook, Univison, ESPN/ABC and app makers are handling all the excitement.
Univision Promises 900 Hours of Coverage
Univision.com is an official internet broadcaster of the World Cup and is offering live streaming of all 64 matches. On average a quarter of a million people in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are watching live streams of each match. These streams have helped drive 16 million page views to Univision’s interactive media platform, including mobile and mobile apps. Its Soccer App also recently became the second most popular free app in the iPhone store.
World Cup on Twitter
Radio and TV once gave the world real-time soccer coverage. But today you can forgo both and simply watch Twitter’s World Cup tweets as fans of each team go head to head as each game is being played. With peaks up to 3,000 tweets per second this marvel of millions of soccer tweets is inspiring, except that Twitter can’t really handle it. In a recent blog post Twitter suggests users brace themselves for weeks of Fail Whales.
As always Facebook is in the thick of it with its campaign to get you to like everything. Facebook’s sports page has a passion rank, which currently puts Chile’s victory over Honduras in the number one spot. Almost a half a million people have liked Chile’s World Cup profile. And in related soccer-passion news, Chile’s capitol city of Santiago used tear gas and water cannons to disperse celebrants and arrest 81. This year is the first time in 48 years that Chile has won a World Cup match!
World Cup on ESPN/ABC
The match between England vs. the U.S. drew 16 million viewers, and became the fifth most popular World Cup match ever covered by U.S. television. Complimenting this coverage was 1.7 million visitors to the ESPN website during the first four days. Of additional interest is analysis that indicates multi-platform users who switch between TV, radio, mobile and the Web are engaged for five times longer than those who only watch on TV.
Flood of Soccer Apps
Of course this roundup would not be complete if we didn’t mention the huge flood of Phone and iPad apps that are begin offered. The number of people trying to get us to promote their World Cup apps has skyrocketed. And while there are plenty of top World Cup app posts out there, I would only recommend one: the Vuvuzela iPhone app. It’s currently the number one free soccer app at the iTunes store. Even though this app is only capable of emitting 90 decibels (a real Vuvuzela horn hits 130), in the hands of a small child this app could be almost as annoying as all the Vuvuzela haters combined.