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46OLYMPIC REVIEWSOCIAL MEDIAcommunities in their own language with materials that interest specific groups," Adams explains. "Not only that - but it can be done in a way thatwould be prohibitive using more traditional means,even the web. "We've recently launched on a Chinese versionof Twitter - 'Weibo' - and we already have close to 500,000 followers. We can give them Chinesematerial in Chinese, while of course bearing in mindthe general messages we want to communicate toall our followers," says Adams."Facebook has always been focused on buildingways for people to connect with each other and shareinformation with their friends," says Facebook UK'sStephen Haines. "We think this is important because people areshaping how information moves through theirconnections. People are increasingly discoveringinformation not just through links to web pages butalso from the people and things they care about." This is a sentiment echoed by the IOC's MarkAdams. "It's important not to lose sight of why we aredoing this. Simply building numbers may be gratifying- but we are building these communities for exactlythe same reason that we carry out our other functionsin the Communications department... ultimately wewant to communicate Olympic values; social media issimply a new and effective channel to do this."LOOKING AHEAD TO 2012London 2012 will be an Olympic Games whose buzzwill be generated online as much as in the real world."Facebook is an essential part of experiencing anddiscussing the Olympic Games, bringing the athletesand their real, daily experiences to the world in a way that TV and other one-way mediums cannot," saysHaines. Although the social media build-up to London2012 is already well underway, by the time the Gamesbegin, extra tools will no doubt be added to the mix. When asked whether London will continue theIOC's campaign, and whether it plans to extend itsreach across social media, the IOC's Mark Adams has a definitive, one-word answer: "Yes!" ?? BelowImageswere sharedaround the globethrough sites likeFlickr, Facebookand YouTube atSingapore 2010,the first YouthOlympic Games