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The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are well under way, and it appears that the Games are a hot topic on Twitter in the UK, according to a February 2014 study conducted by Vision Critical for Twitter. Out of the 81% of UK Twitter users who planned to tune in to the Olympics, more than half (54%) said they would likely tweet about the Games within 14 days of viewing.
Despite Twitter’s popularity during Sochi 2014, TV was still the main channel through which respondents had heard about the Games, cited by 84%, compared with 44% for Twitter. But TV viewing and social networking now go hand in hand for many sports viewers in general: Nearly two-thirds of Twitter users said the platform made “live sporting events on TV more exciting,” and eight in 10 tweeted or read tweets as they watched sports on TV.
Twitter reported that one-third of those polled were more excited for this Olympics compared with the 2010 Winter Games, and 46% said this was a result of the London Summer Olympics in 2012. This excitement is one reason Twitter has become a main event during the Games, and it has had another effect besides driving tweets: connecting with athletes. For example, Twitter noted that snowboarder and bronze medalist Jenny Jones (@jennyjonessnow) saw her Twitter followers jump from 7,075 on February 1 to more than 64,000 as of February 13.
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