Step right up for the greatest show on earth – the Olympic circus has come to town! Well, to London, at least. And as we prepare for 17 days of the finest athleticism these games can offer, Twitter has finally announced its official #Olympics branded page.
The opening ceremony for London 2012 takes place tonight from 9pm, when the final journey of the Olympic flame (preceded by a performance directed by none other than director Danny Boyle) will mark the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games.
But even before the event has officially begun, the Olympics has already taken over the internet, with Twitter reporting more tweets about this year’s games in a single day than the entire number of tweets recorded during the Beijing Games in 2008.
NBC partnership and mobile optimisation
The launch of the #Olympics page marks the official announcement of Twitter’s partnership with NBC for Olympics coverage. NBCOlympics.com is also integrating Twitter feeds in a big way, providing fans with more ways to connect with their favourite teams and athletes, and the broadcaster will be promoting the hashtag widely on air.
As with previous branded hashtag pages for #NASCAR and #Euro2012, the page will curate the best tweets regarding the Games, with plenty coming from the athletes, their coaches, the teams, their families and, of course, the fans. Owing to the partnership, NBC broadcasters will also get their oar in, plus other Olympic insiders.
What makes this particular branded page unique, though, is that this time the page is specially designed to be fully interactive on mobile devices.
This page cannot be found
Buy why no hyperlinks, or screenshots? Because despite Twitter’s claims that the page launched yesterday, we’ve so far been unable to access it directly via www.twitter.com/#Olympics, by clicking on the #Olympics hashtag or via search. As far as we’re concerned, this page does not exist.
The delay may be a knock-on effect of the system’s outage yesterday – the second time the site has gone down in recent weeks. Twitter has blamed the incident on the unfortunate coincidence of two parallel data centre systems failing at almost the same time, dispelling the notion that it might be a result of an Olympian surge in the volume of tweets.
The company has since apologised for the outage and promised aggressive investment in its infrastructure to prevent such problems in future. Another glitch during the Olympics will be a disaster for the company, as it faces stiff competition from Facebook’s dedicated Olympics page as the social network go-to for the event.
UPDATE: As this forms part of its partnership with NBC, Twitter’s new branded page will sadly only be available to US users.