The Facebook Data Science Team revisited check-ins at 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, analyzing more than 1 million of them and determining how many users met during the event and connected on the social network.
Research Scientist Sean Taylor summarized the findings in a note on the Facebook Data Science page, saying that most initial check-ins took place June 12, the day of the opening match, but host country Brazil experienced a steady stream of international check-ins throughout the monthlong tournament.
The map pictured atop this post displays check-ins in close proximity to all 12 World Cup venues during the tournament, and the top five in terms of check-ins were:
- Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
- Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília
- Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo
- Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza
- Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte
The most popular matches in terms of check-ins were the final match and the opening match, and the top five were:
- Germany 1, Argentina 0 (final match), July 13, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
- Brazil 3, Croatia 1 (opening match), June 12, Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo
- Chile 2, Spain 0, June 18, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
- Colombia 2, Uruguay 0, June 28, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
- Brazil 4, Cameroon 1, June 23, Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília
Taylor wrote on the subject of new friendships formed on Facebook during 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil:
As international visitors spent time in Brazil and attended the World Cup matches, they met and socialized with other passionate soccer fans from around the world. We were curious to see if the fans were making friends with people they wouldn’t ordinarily meet at home, so we looked at new friendships between people who checked into Brazil that spanned across countries.
Given that a World Cup visitor made a new Facebook friend, the probability that the friend was from a different country increased during the games.
We can see a steady increase in the probability that a new Facebook friend is from a different country among World Cup visitors. Travelers to Brazil begin June with a relatively high 10 percent probability of a new friend living in a different country, but it increases to about 15 percent during the tournament.
On average, an international visitor who checked into Brazil during June made one new Brazilian friend and one new friend from another country on Facebook. The resulting cross-country friendships span the globe and make the world more connected. In this next map, we show connections between cities with at least 25 new friendships that occurred after the individuals checked into a host city during the World Cup.
According to the Facebook Data Science Team, visitors from these countries formed the most new friendships with Brazilians during the tournament:
Visitors from these countries formed the most new friendships with Americans:
Removing Brazil and the U.S. from the equation, these friendships were the most common:
- U.K. and Australia
- Mexico and Colombia
- Colombia and Chile
- Australia and Canada
- U.K. and Canada
Readers: Did any of the findings about World Cup check-ins by the Facebook Data Science Team surprise you?