Forget London. Much of the 2012 Summer Olympics action is happening on Twitter. Athletes have used the social network to share photos and status updates that take their followers inside the Games. Fans have used it to revel in Olympic drama and — in the U.S. — tweet result spoilers for viewers stuck waiting for NBC’s tape-delayed primetime coverage.
How did all the Twitter chatter stack up over the event’s first 10 days? Mass Relevance, Twitter’s official social curation and integration partner, tracked the tweets to produce the infographic below, which shows just that.
Through 10 days, there were more than 28.4 million Olympic-themed tweets, according to Mass Relevance, and users worldwide sent an average of 2,000 tweets per minute. Swimming led the charge as the most talked-about sport, followed by gymnastics, basketball, soccer and volleyball.
American swimmer Michael Phelps was the most-discussed athlete, with 574,000 mentions. He was followed by American basketball star LeBron James, British diver Tom Daley, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and American hooper Kevin Durant. But look for Bolt and other runners to surge up the rankings over the second half of the Games, when much of the Olympic attention turns from swimming and gymnastics to track and field.
Interesting to note is that Daley was at the center of one of the Olympics’ biggest Twitter-centered stories so far. After a disappointing medal-less performance in the men’s synchronized diving championships, he used Twitter to out a troll who sent a hateful message referencing his late father. The interaction gained widespread attention and the troll was later arrested on suspicion of malicious communications.
Check out the following infographic for the full picture of how tweeters followed the Olympics.