Micro-blogging phenomenon Twitter is contributing to the excitement surrounding the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup today with a special website set up for football fans around the world.
The social network unveiled http://twitter.com/worldcup, which is dedicated to all things World Cup – giving Twitterers information about the match schedules, flag icons of all the countries participating in the tournament, and of course the promise of live tweets throughout all the World Cup matches.
Writing on the official Twitter blog, its co-founder Biz Stone pointed out its advantages for fans and the potential for online marketing, with the dedicated site giving them a perfect opportunity to link up with teams, players and official sponsoring brands during the World Cup, not least through the medium of Twitter advertising.
He said that the Twitter FIFA World Cup page boast such unique features as live widgets, real-time search facilities and Top Tweets sections. The latter in particular is interesting, as its algorithm seeks out and republishes the most popular and interesting tweets about the tournament. By clicking on the View Match link, Twitterers are able to check out a live stream of all the site’s updates concerning an individual match.
But there is more to the Twitter/World Cup tie-in than that. It has also introduced a facility that causes a football icon to appear next to any tweet concerning the World Cup which features the #WorldCup hashtag, as long as users are viewing them via the Twitter Web interface.
When Twitterers use the hashtags with the first three letters in a participant country’s name, such as #ENG for England, the nation’s flag will appear next to the tweet in question.