Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Facebook Adds New Features for the Tokyo Olympics, Including a Games Hub and AR Effects

Facebook has a lot to do with the COVID-delayed 2020 Olympics currently underway in Tokyo. outlined a range of toolsTo encourage users to engage with the event, there will be a Games hub and AR effects for Stories. There will also be video highlights to keep you informed.

Facebook’s biggest addition is its new Games hubThis will include highlights, team and athlete overviews, explainers of the events and more.

Facebook Olympic Games hub

O-Notes will also be available on the hubYou can view the lympic story for more context. Additionally, it will highlight posts by your friends about Games. To receive alerts about Games updates, you can also follow the hub.

Check out the Facebook Olympics hub here or by clicking through on the #Olympics or #Tokyo2020 hashtags in the app.

Instagram has two new AR effects that allow you to take part in the Games. They are available through the effects tabs of both Instagram and Snapchat. @olympics and @Tokyo2020 accounts.

Instagram Olympics AR effects

As explained by Facebook:

In one AR effect, fans can attempt to mirror the movements of Miraitowa, the official Olympics mascot earn AR medals for their performances. Another effect features the official beat music of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”

As far as AR effects go, they’re not amazing, but it’s another way to engage with themed content, which could be of interest to those feeling gold fever and looking for more ways to take part.

Over on WhatsApp, Facebook has released a new Olympics chatbot, which will provide details on the Games schedule, information on local broadcasts, and the latest news and medal standings.

WhatsApp Olympics chatbot

​​The chatbot will also include official stickers, as well as quizzes on the various Olympic events to boost fan engagement.

And finally, Facebook will also be directly and indirectly hosting video highlights from the Games throughout the event.

“In select countries, fans will have access to highlights from Tokyo 2020, athlete profiles and interviews throughout the course of the Games via official Olympic broadcasters’ Facebook Pages and InstagramAccounts This includes NBC Universal in the US, Eurosport for parts of Europe, and beIN in the Middle East and North Africa. In select territories including India, Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Spanish-speaking Latin America, fans can see the day’s highlights from Tokyo on the official Olympics Facebook Page.” 

It’s hard to estimate how big a deal the Games will be this year, given the COVID delay, and the ongoing pandemic situation in host nation Japan. Even now, with events underway, it still feels like it could get called off at any moment, or that an outbreak could occur within the Olympic villageWhich somewhat tempers excitement around the event. 

There’s also the fact that there’ll be no fans for the first time ever – which means that if somebody does break a world record, they’ll be met with a smattering of claps from coaches, and outside of that, cold silence throughout those huge stadiums.

It seems that this could make for a very bizarre event, but maybe people are also eager for an escape from the ongoing lockdowns, concerns, and concerns. The Olympics may be coming at the right time.

Because of the uncertainty, no one knows what to expect. However, Facebook has many options for you to find more information about the Games and ways to engage.

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