New Delhi: Cricket fans the world over may have supported different teams but were united when it came to interaction on Facebook, which has more than 1.55 billion monthly active users globally. Facebook users were able to see posts from their friends and people they follow, follow match scores, and view realtime reactions, photos and videos from news outlets, public figures and people around the world through an enhanced trending experience. The Menlo Park-headquartered company shared the key figures and engagement statistics in a company blogpost.
Here are the key highlights:
More than 46 million people interacted on Facebook during this year’s ICC World Twenty20, which ran from 8 March to 3 April. Sixteen men’s and 10 women’s cricket teams faced each other in the most exciting T20 tournament to date, which culminated in a thrilling and dramatic victory by both the West Indies men and women’s teams on 3 April in Kolkata.
A few key matches and moments drove high levels of conversation. For instance, during the high-voltage India versus Pakistan match on 19 March, Facebook drove over 8.2 million, while the final match between England and West Indies saw 6.1 million people engage on the platform.
The ICC and the respective teams’ Facebook Pages totaled over 180 million video views during the same period (8 March to 3 April).
Most mentioned players on Facebook
Among the men, the top favourites were India’s chasemaster Virat Kohli and captain M.S. Dhoni. Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and West Indies’ Chris Gayle came third and fourth, respectively, followed by Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh from India, Umar Akmal from Pakistan, Tamim Iqbal from Bangladesh and Joe Root from England.
Among the most mentioned women players was Sana Mir, captain of Pakistan’s national women’s cricket team, followed by Bangladesh’s Jahanara Alam, West Indian Stafanie Taylor, Indian women’s team captain Mithali Raj and Meg Lanning from Australia.
During the tournament, profile frames were used over 17 million times by people showing their support for ICC World Twenty20 teams on Facebook. This included players and cricket fans from around the world, as well as celebrities and public figures.
Facebook Live from ICC World Twenty20
Millions of fans tuned into Facebook Live to watch their favourite players field media questions and thousands more watched videos on Facebook. At least 500 live videos for cricket fans on Facebook were created by the ICC, various cricket boards, players, news publishers and celebrities. Over 60 official press conferences were streamed directly on to the ICC Facebook Page immediately after the conclusion of both men’s and women’s matches.
Teams and players from India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, West Indies and Bangladesh all used Facebook Live to share their WT20 journey with their fans.
Over 20 publishers and personalities used Facebook Live over 400 times throughout the event to provide exclusive match commentary and analysis as well as to engage and entertain fans. News publishers included Aaj Tak, ABP News, Hindustan Times, Mint, Indian Express, IBN Live, and India Today, while sports publishers like cricbuzz, Cricket Tracker, Sportskeeda, CricketCountry.com, Cricketnext, ESPN Cricinfo, Sky Sports also used Facebook Live.
Sharing the action with Facebook fans
Players and teams took to Instagram, Facebook’s photo sharing app and Facebook to share their excitement and experience with fans. Some of these moments went viral on social media:
· West Indies team dances their way into their hotel following the Semi Finals in Mumbai.
· England’s Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid run practice drills in their hotel with the help of an apple.
· Pakistan Women’s Captain Sana Mir and team share a special thank you message with their parents after their victory over India.
· DJ Bravo launches his “anthem” Champion on Facebook Live.
· Australia Captain Steve Smith congratulates Shane Watson on his career following his retirement from International cricket.
Celebrities, sports teams, journalists and politicians across the globe also posted about the #WT20. Some of the key posts included:
· Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Indian captain M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli following their victory over Australia in Mohali.
· Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull showed his support for the Southern Stars by adding a profile frame and also wished the team good luck on the eve of the Finals.
· Chelsea FC wished India vice-captain Virat Kohli good luck for his semi final match.
· Shah Rukh Khan showed his support for Team India and added a profile frame before the India versus Pakistan match and also posted a fun good luck message for the Indian Cricket Team during the Super 10 stage.
· Amitabh Bachchan posted a congratulatory message to the West Indies team.
· Sachin Tendulkar’s heartfelt thank you to the crowd in Kolkata at the India versus Pakistan match.
· Usain Bolt’s Champion celebration for the West Indies’ victory.
· Mohammed Nabi and the Afghanistan team received a special phone call from President Ashraf Ghani following their amazing run in the tournament.