The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

World News

June 10, 2014

Facebook, Twitter brace for World Cup fever

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Users can get to the World Cup hub by clicking on "World Cup" in the list of trending topics on the site.

In a nod to Twitter, Facebook, earlier this year, began displaying trending topics to show users the most popular topics at any given moment. The feature is currently available in the U.S., U.K., India, Canada and Australia.

"This is our first foray into this, especially for a big sporting event like this," Van Dyck said. "We're going to see how this goes. If people enjoy the experience it's something we'd like to push on."

Facebook, which counts 81 percent of its users outside the U.S. and Canada, is unveiling its World Cup features at a time when the company is working to become a place for more real-time, public conversations about big events— a la Twitter. Such events attract big advertising dollars, though the company is not saying how much money it expects to make from World Cup-related ads.

Not to be outdone, Twitter touted in a blog post last week that the "the only real-time #WorldCup global viewing party will be on Twitter, where you can track all 64 matches, experience every goal and love every second, both on and off the pitch."

Fans can follow individual teams or players and use the hashtags #WorldCup to tweet about the matches, and follow official accounts such as @FIFAWorldCup, @ussoccer for the United States team and @CBF_Futebol for Brazil's soccer governing body, for example. Clicking on the #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 hashtags, meanwhile, will take you to Twitter's hubs for the event.

Twitter is also bringing back the "hashflags" it introduced in the 2010 World Cup. Users who tweet three-letter country codes for participating nations — such as BRA for Brazil or ESP for Spain — will see the country's flag appear in their tweet. Twitter says it will then tally the mentions in its "World Cup of tweets."

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