187 million tweets, 1.5 billion Facebook interactions sent out during #Rio2016

The #Rio2016 Olympics finally came to an end on Sunday. Throughout the games, fans from around the world turned to their television sets to cheer their different athletes. Our Kenyan athletes did an exceptionally good job bringing home 6 gold medals, 6 silver, and one bronze medal.

Kenyans, just like other people from across the globe also took to Twitter and Facebook to cheer for thrilling victories, engage with athletes, see highlights and also share live experiences. So how did these social media platforms perform?

Facebook won gold in the Olympics social media conversation posting a record 1.5 billion post interaction by 227 million people. Facebook users primarily discussed swimming, gymnastics and track and field. Over 187 Million Tweets were sent about the Games and in total, leading to 75 billion impressions (views on and off Twitter).

Users on Facebook primarily talked about swimming, gymnastics and track and field while soccer became the most talked about sports on Twitter.  Brazilian soccer player Neymar Jr game-winning penalty kick for Brazil in a shootout vs. #GER in the gold medal football match was the most talked about.


Michael Phelps led the Twitter conversation leaderboard followed by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Neymar. Swimming, football, and athletics were the most discussed sports events on the platform.  The most retweeted athlete tweet was that of Zac Efron kissing 19-year-old Simone Biles, who won a record of four gold medals in women’s gymnastics in a single game. The tweet got 163,000 retweets and nearly 459,000 likes.

Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo post congratulating Jamaican sprinter Bolt for his gold medal victories in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4×100-meter relay was the most loved Facebook post. Bolt’s gold medal win in the 100 meters race  tweet  was also the second most tweeted tweet during the competition.

These data shows how people from across the globe took to social media to cheer the favorite sports men and women.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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