By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD ( – Social media sites and cable providers are gearing up for the World Cup which kicks off Thursday in Brazil.

Soccer fans used to have limited options to take watch and follow their favorite teams, but with the rise of social media and increased connectivity, viewers can interact with those in the stadium and around the world.

Twitter is letting soccer fans around the world show their support for their favorite team by creating unique hashflags during World Cup.  The popular social media site is modifying hashtags – which help Tweeters categorize their tweets – to add country flags of the 32 countries which have qualified for the World Cup and Twitter when they use a country’s three letter code in the Tweets.

This will allow soccer fans around the globe the opportunity to show their allegiance to their favorite team.

Twitter is also setting up timelines for #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 to let users view tweets from around the world and share their thoughts of “The Beautiful Game.”

AT&T is also bringing expanded coverage of the action from the field to a variety of platforms with the 2014 FIFA World CupTV app featuring coverage from ESPN. Customers with U-verse High Speed Internet will have access to stats, schedules, athlete biographies, match scores and more right on their television screen, according a release.

“With AT&T U-verse, we are constantly seeking ways to provide customers with a more engaging TV-watching experience,” said Mel Coker, chief marketing officer, AT&T Home Solutions, in a release. “The TV app gives soccer fans all the 2014 FIFA World Cup action and information they want at the touch of a button.”

Additionally, U-verse soccer fans can watch matches on; the U-verse App on smartphones and tablets and on WatchESPN.

Who are you rooting for this year? Share your team and predictions with WWJ Newsradio 950 for the World Cup at @wwj950.


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