Curling and US snowboarder Shaun White were popular Olympics topics on Facebook — we just don’t know how popular
The Olympics are already over, and while American athletes didn’t dominate the podium, they did dominate the public conversation on Facebook.
On Monday, the social network unveiled some data about the past 17 days of Olympics-related conversations, including things like the “most-talked-about athlete,” U.S. snowboarder Shaun White; the “most-talked-about sports,” figure skating and curling; and the “most-’Liked’ post,” this great post highlighting many of the female athletes who represented African countries at the Games.
What was almost as interesting as the data Facebook did share, though, is what Facebook didn’t share: Total audience and interaction data around the Olympics, the standard metrics the company shares for almost all major events, like the World Cup, the Rio Olympics, the Sochi Olympics and the Super Bowl.
Facebook usually releases a blog boasting that a massive number of people created a massive amount of Olympics-related interactions on Facebook over the course of the games.They aren’t doing that this year. A spokesperson says the company isn’t planning to share that data and didn’t elaborate as to why.
We have a guess. It’s possible that the numbers Facebook saw this year were smaller than the ones it announced for previous Olympics competitions — no one likes touting metrics that are getting smaller. If true, the downward trend would align with other data about the 2018 Olympics. TV viewership for NBC’s coverage of the PyeongChang Olympics was down 7 percent over Sochi’s ratings four years ago, for example.
So there was less interest in the Olympics on TV than there was four years ago. Maybe Facebook noticed the same thing.
Either way, here’s the list of the most-talked-about athletes on Facebook during the Olympics. American athletes did dominate this competition:
- Shaun White, Snowboarding, USA
- Red Gerard, Snowboarding, USA
- Adam Rippon, Figure Skating, USA
- Chloe Kim, Snowboarding, USA
- Scott Moir, Ice Dancing, Canada
- Tessa Virtue, Ice Dancing, Canada
- Martin Fourcade, Biathlon, France
- Lindsey Vonn, Alpine Skiing, USA
- Nathan Chen, Figure Skating, USA
- Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing, USA