Facebook: More Than 116 Million Posts, Comments About The Olympics

By Justin Lafferty 

We’ve heard from just about everyone else regarding how popular the 2012 Summer Olympic Games were on Facebook, but now it’s time for the social network to dish out its official statistics. The site noted that there were more than 116 million posts and comments related to the Games in London. And athletes collectively added 12.2 million likes to their pages between the opening and closing ceremonies.

More stats from Facebook:

  • More than 1 million people liked Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s page during the Olympics, bringing his fan total to a little more than 8.1 million.
  • American swimmer Michael Phelps’ page grew by more than 850,000 likes during the games; he now has more than 6.3 million fans. Phelps also gained Facebook prominence through his nickname — “Baltimore Bullet.” The site reported that on July 31, when Phelps became the most-decorated Olympian, it saw an increase of more than 1,200 percent in the volume of mentions containing his nickname. Female fans led the way, with a 2,700 percent increase in Baltimore Bullet mentions coming from the ladies (925 percent increase from men). Phelps’ homeland of Maryland showed pride in its Olympian, with an increase of 2,800 percent in mentions of Baltimore Bullet coming from that state.
  • Athletes from the host country of Great Britain were also quite popular throughout the Games. Jessica Ennis, an English heptathlete, saw a fan increase of 632 percent — a rise from 108,700 to roughly 801,000 fans. British diver Tom Daley’s Facebook fans rose 672 percent — going from 120,000 to about 1 million.
  • Olympians who don’t have the name cache of Phelps and Bolt but rose to fame also became quite popular on Facebook. American gymnast Jordyn Wieber — a member of the gold medal U.S. gymnastics team — started out with 33,000 likes, but now has 324,000 fans (an 818 percent increase). German gymnast Marcel Nguyen, a silver medalist, began the Games with 7,500 fans but ended with 193,000 — a stunning increase of 2,524 percent.
  • However, it was 16-year-old American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas who won over the most people during the Olympics. Known as “The Flying Squirrel,” Douglas went from 14,000 fans to more than 600,000 — a rise of 4,045 percent. Like Phelps, her nickname also flew through the social network. There was an increase of nearly 2,000 percent in mentions of The Flying Squirrel on Aug. 2, when Douglas won the gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics competition. Mentions of the nickname rose 800 percent among teens on Facebook and increased 2,000 percent for users in their 20s and 30s. Facebook reported a nearly 3,000 percent increase for older users mentioning Douglas’ nickname, which was most popular in New Jersey, Texas, and Maryland.

Facebook also posted screenshots of some notable posts from Olympians:

Readers: Who became your favorite Olympian on Facebook?

Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Douglas’ Facebook page.