It's no surprise that a global sporting event like the World Cup was the most inescapable topic on the Internet for its month-long duration--that's pretty standard for international news, especially when competition is involved.
Both Twitter and Facebook are claiming social media superiority in the wake of the World Cup, which was the catalyst for constant conversation on both networks. Chatter over the games broke records for both networks. Get ready for lots of numbers:
About 672 million World Cup tweets were sent around the world throughout the 32-day-long tournament. The epic Brazil meltdown in its match against Germany saw the most Twitter action--more than 35.6 million tweets were fired off during that game. The World Cup final spurred 32.1 million tweets. That trend was reversed over on Facebook, where the network saw 280 million interactions from 88 million people during the final Germany vs. Argentina game, and 200 million interactions from 66 million users during the Germany vs. Brazil blowout.
Twitter's top moments: When Germany defeated Argentina to win the Cup (618,725 tweets per minute), German player Sami Khedira's score against Brazil (580,166 tweets per minute), and Mario Gotze scoring the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the Cup (556,599 tweets per minute). Twitter's data team put together an addictive heat map to show where and when conversations were happening around the world.
Brazil ruled Facebook
On Facebook, 350 million people contributed 3 billion posts, comments, and likes to the World Cup conversation. The final alone made Facebook history, with 88 million users generating 280 million interactions--the most popular sports event since the network launched.
Facebook was able to drill down more deeply into its data than Twitter, because it collects more information. For instance, Facebook found that men aged 18-24 contributed 22 percent of the overall World Cup conversation. Several nations, including Brazil (of course), Costa Rica, and Uruguay, saw more than half of the registered users in their respective countries joining in the talk about the games.
Brazil led the globe in World Cup conversation, with 26 percent of all games-related chatter across the network coming from the host country. The U.S. didn't even come close, contributing just 10 percent of all World Cup interactions. The top World Cup-related post on Facebook was Brazilian player Neymar Jr.'s June 21 selfie: Neymar was injured during the country's match against Colombia and has become a global superstar in the last month.
Though Brazil's dreams of global glory were dashed, the match certainly helped Twitter, which needed the boost. As part of the network's effort to appeal to new users, it waged an aggressive campaign throughout the tournament. There was a special World Cup timeline for easy discovery of game chatter and "hashflags," or flag symbols attached to hashtags, to appeal to the emoji-loving masses. In-line Vines documented the best six seconds of every game. Clearly the campaign was effective, but will those soccer--sorry, football--fans stick around now that the action has died down? We probably won't find out the World Cup's impact on active user numbers until the company's third quarter earnings report later this year.