By Edward Cardenas
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – The World Cup is being played thousands of miles from the United States, but the Internet is bringing it to home locally to smart phones and computers.
Soccer fans, casual observers and others have flocked to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to discuss games. They have also utilized search engines, such as Google, to obtain information about players along with facts about the countries playing in individual matches.
“We are getting to see the global impact of soccer,” said Amy Skimin, communications specialist at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Skimin added that unlike the Super Bowl, which is a one day event, the World Cup is on-going and attracts more followers. This is especially true for American fans.
“We also have American competitive spirit,” she said. “We want to be the best.”
The numbers are somewhat staggering on the different platforms. Facebook reports that 220 million people on Facebook have made one billion World Cup-related posts, comments and likes.
One of the busiest days on Facebook was during Saturday’s match between Brazil and Chile with 31 million people conducting 75 million interactions.
The top age group participating in World Cup on Facebook is men between 18 and 24. The top country participating in the buzz is Brazil, and is followed by the United States.
Since the World Cup began in early June, there has been more than 300 million Tweets related to the soccer tournament. This volume of Tweets has made the World Cup one of the most talked about events on Twitter.
This is nearly double the number of Tweets during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, according to Twitter. The game with the greatest conversation was the Brazil vs. Croatia game with 12.2 million Tweets.
The most retweeted Tweet so far in the tournament has been from Italian soccer player Mario Balotelli, who sent a Tweet about the possible outcome from a game his team played against Costa Rica. His Tweet, “If we beat Costa Rica i want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen,” was retweeted more than 176,000 times.
Search engine Google has a webpage dedicated to World Cup search trends and tracks interesting tidbits about the tournament. Through 54 games Tuesday, Google reported that there has been more than 1.5 billion World Cup related searches.
Other interesting searches on Google include:
- Searches for “what language is spoken in Greece” spiked by 2.5 times during the Costa Rica vs. Greece match,
- During the Netherlands vs. Mexico match, there was three times as many searches for “cooling break” than for the winning goal,
- At kick-off of the U.S. vs. Germany game, searches for the match were higher than searches for anything else in the United States,
- Italy cared more about its soccer team than how to ‘move like Jagger’ last month. Google reported that there was 60 times more searches for the World Cup than the Rolling Stones who were playing in Rome during the early stages of the tournament.