India outranked countries like the US, Brazil and Philippines in terms of highest engagement on Facebook during the Tokyo Olympics 2020, with gold medalist Neeraj Chopra being the second most mentioned athlete on the global social networking platform. Facebook shared data from July 23-August 8, 2021 reflecting trends on Facebook and Instagram.
In terms of the “Loudest countries engaging about the Olympics over the course of the Games" (ranked by number of people talking about Olympics on Facebook), India stood at the numero uno position, followed by the US, Brazil, the Philippines and Mexico. The mentioned sports on Facebook over the course of the Games globally was Track and Field, followed by Gymnastics, Rowing, Boxing and Swimming. The most mentioned athletes on Facebook were Simone Biles (American artistic gymnast), Neeraj Chopra, Hidilyn Diaz (Filipino weightlifter), Suni Lee (American artistic gymnast) and Tom Daley (British diver).
“There was plenty to talk about over the course of the Games, but the top three days that had the most Olympics conversation globally on Facebook were August 7 (Neeraj Chopra won gold for India and Team USA basketball won gold), July 28 (the day after Simone Biles withdrew from the gymnastics team competition), and August 2 (Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu won gold in badminton)," it said. Tai Tzu Ying’s post thanking everyone for their support while she competed in Tokyo was the Facebook post from an athlete that drove the most interactions over the course of the Games, with more than 1.3 million interactions.
On Instagram, athletes gained more than 75 million followers over the course of the Games, driving more than 410 million interactions and posting more than 300,000 stories. Neeraj Chopra gained 2.8 million new followers, PV Sindhu 7,02,778 and MC Mary Kom 2,70,104 new followers.
Chopra was second globally after Rayssa Leal (Skateboarding, Brazil) who added 5.8 million new followers. Most mentioned athletes on Instagram over the course of the Games globally was Chopra, Biles, Leal, Greysia Polii (Badminton, Indonesia) and Apriyani Rahayu (Badminton, Indonesia). Leal’s video of her skateboarding journey was the most-liked video from an athlete over the course of the Games, with more than 11 million views.
In a separate statement, Facebook said it has partnered with UNICEF India to launch a one-year joint initiative on ending violence against children with a special focus on online safety. The partnership seeks to create a safe environment for children online and offline, and aims to improve children’s resilience and capacity to access the digital world safely, the statement said. The intent is to increase awareness on violence against children and its impact on children, families, and communities, as well as increase skills of communities and frontline workers to better prevent and respond to violence, it added.
This partnership will include a nation-wide social media awareness campaign, and capacity building for 100,000 school children on online safety, digital literacy, and psychosocial support.