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Published June 14th 2014

Most Shared World Cup Content: How Facebook Wins Opening Day

Thursday was the first game of the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil won with a controversial penalty decision. I decided to take a look at the most shared content on the first day of the tournament. The results highlight the very clear differences in the way social networks are used and the type of content that is shared.


Facebook generates far higher volumes of engagement for events such as the World Cup than other networks. It was the overwhelming network winner on day one of the tournament.

The top four most shared content items on day one of the World Cup were

– the opening ceremony live stream

– a Reuters article on World Cup protests

– a typical BuzzFeed post on the 30 hottest bearded men of the World Cup

– a Billboard article on Jennifer Lopez performing at the opening ceremony

The numbers of shares are below.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 17.31.27.png

What strikes you immediately is that virtually all of the shares of these popular content items are on Facebook, and none of the most shared content was shared even once on LinkedIn. No surprises I think as LinkedIn is clearly a business and professional network.

I decided to take a look at the most shared articles on the other social networks.


The most shared LinkedIn articles were as follows.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 17.37.09.png

All three articles had relatively low shares and were focused on the business side of the World Cup. Two were on how to let your staff watch the matches and keep up productivity, whilst the third was on business lessons from the World Cup. This confirms the professional and business nature of LinkedIn as a social network.


We already know that Pinterest is about visuals and the top three most shared shared posts on Pinterest were collections of images. The top three were:

1) Lions playing football


2) World Cup Stadiums


3) World Cup Posters – my personal favorite


Google Plus

Two of the most shared posts on Google Plus were YouTube videos. The other was a visual post on WAGs (wives and girlfriends of players).

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 23.21.31.png


Two of the most shared Twitter posts on the first day of the World Cup were the same news related story. The volume of shares were again very low in comparison to Facebook.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 17.41.13.png


The sharing on the first day confirms the content focus of the different social networks:

  • Content on consumer focused events is overwhelmingly shared on Facebook
  • Business perspectives are shared on LinkedIn
  • The best visual stories are shared on Pinterest
  • Breaking news is shared on twitter
  • Youtube videos and images are shared on Google+


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