South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Nature of engagement on Facebook during London 2012 olympic games: insight into public participation in terms of language and gender

Emilio Fernández Peña, Òscar Coromina, Jose M.P. Gila


This study takes an in-depth look at the characteristics of engagement on the International Olympic Committee’s Facebook fan page during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Posts with the highest level of participation (‘Like’, ‘Comment’ or ‘Share’) are those containing photos, offering content related to the opening and closing ceremonies, referring to the most famous athletes or showing light-hearted content. In terms of gender, the level of participation is generally higher among women, especially from the United States and the United Kingdom (higher than 60%). Exceptions to the predominance of female interaction with Olympic content are those cases of people whose Facebook profile language settings are French, German or Thai.

Keywords: Olympic Games; Facebook; Social media; Sport; Engagement.

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