Facebook this weekend debuted a dedicated page for Olympic athletes to communicate with fans, and provide their own personalized updates around the event, including metal wins, their own photographs, and status updates. “Alongside that, Facebook is adding other data to pad out the story,” TechCrunch reports. As such, expect tons of historical photographs and other information about notable events -- all part of Facebook’s larger effort to claim the 2012 Games as the first “Social Olympics.”
Officials from the International Olympics Committee tell TechCrunch they started to work with Facebook on the effort at least 18 months ago. “So far there are only 250 of more than 10,000 Olympic athletes on the site, including UK athletes Tom Daly, Jessica Ennis, and the cycling team, although Facebook expects that to ramp up significantly in the weeks ahead.”
Also of note, while the pages can expect to get a big traffic bump from the millions of people who tune in to watch the sporting event, Facebook will not run any advertising alongside any of it. Because of “the notion of a ‘clean venue’” at the Olympics itself, with no branding or ads, “we will not be running ads against these pages,” Christian Hernandez, a head of platforms for Facebook, explains.