Facebook is taking its 2016 Summer Olympics coverage very seriously and plans to expand it with additional interactive features, video highlights and live programming.
To do that, the social media company teamed up with more than 20 licensed broadcasters and National Olympic Committees to provide firsthand content to Facebook and Instagram. Among Facebook's partners are local network broadcasters and Olympians from more than 10 countries.
The Facebook Pages of the broadcasters will tap into Facebook Live to bring video highlights of the competition's events and user-engaging 360-degree videos from Rio's energized Olympic Village.
Via the social network, Facebook users will be able to talk to some of the athletes and participants present in the Games.
Thanks to the Search and Explore section of Instagram, those who use the app will be able to enjoy a few channels dedicated to the 2016 Olympic Games. Just as with Facebook, athletes and other attendees in Rio will share their experiences on the image-centric app.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced that it has deployed a Facebook Messenger bot, which users can interact with to find out about the day's highlights and to get live updates.
It should be noted that this is the first time in history that the IOC teams up with a social media company.
Dan Reed, Facebook's leader of global sports partnerships, underlines how excited his company is to deliver exclusive content from Rio to "global communities on Facebook and Instagram."
"[W]e will help connect our global communities with the Olympic Games — and each other," Reed says.
Facebook already has a solid cooperation with NBC Olympics and other broadcasters in Rio. A part of NBC's content goes directly and exclusively to Instagram and Facebook, while also making the most out of Facebook Live through the duration of the Games.
Reports from last month showed that Facebook has been commissioning certain performers, such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, to actively post using the Facebook Live platform. The arrangement seems to be beneficial to both parties, as Phelps has already tapped into Facebook Live while in Rio.
No less than 52 million people from Facebook watched or read content about the Opening Ceremonies on the social network. When looking at Instagram's numbers, 21 million people were engaged in one form or another by the Rio Olympic Games.
Users can easily discover Facebook Live videos pertaining to the Games from the athletes, journalists and spectators in Rio de Janeiro and around the world, or can simply Like the official Facebook page of the event to have all the news in their feeds.
Meanwhile, if you are in Japan and you want to watch programming from the Games in eye-watering 8K resolution, you can totally do so. Check out our coverage to find out how and where.