Facebook Launches Ad-Free Olympics Hub
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
June 18 2012 01:25 PM ET
Facebook's London 2012 offers gateway to latest Olympics news, such as latest landmark logo on the Tyne Bridge.
CREDIT: London 2012 on Facebook
Facebook today (June 18) launched Explore London 2012, an online gateway to athletes, teams and sports that are part of this summer's Olympic games.
In keeping with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to run a "clean" venue — we're not talking about drugs, but physical ads like banners — Facebook's Olympic hub is ad-free.
The committee has a strict policy about the use of the Olympic logo on websites to help protect sponsors who have paid millions of dollars for the privilege. In comparison, ads on Facebook come cheap, but they won't be available to companies looking to cash in on this summer's biggest sports event.
U.S. swimmer Brendan Hansen scored the first spot on Facebook's athlete listing, followed by American gymnast Aly Raisman and fellow swim team member Alex Meyer. So far, only about 200 athletes are represented out of the more than 10,500 participating in this year's event. But Facebook officials expect the number to grow as the games approach.
Once the games begin, visitors to the Olympics-related pages will see photos uploaded by spectators, but video is not allowed within any of the venues.
Facebook is not the only social media site to partner with the IOC. Google+, Twitter and Tumblr will have official pages. Foursquare is planning a check-in event for Opening Day and has made current, past and future venues official check-ins to earn a "Get Fit for Olympics Day" badge. None of these sites are available in China, but fans there can "socialize" via Youku (the Chinese equivalent of YouTube) and Sina Weibo (China's version of Twitter), which has about 300 million members.