World Cup 2014: Whom to Follow on Social Media

 

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has been predicted as being the biggest social media World Cup in history, and possibly "the most social event ever," predicted one Adidas exec.

Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have exploded since the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago, with fans, networks, players and news outlets increasingly using them to spread messages of joy, sorrow and silliness.

Twitter itself is embracing soccer fever with its "World Cup Timelines," which launched on Thursday, that allows users to see relevant tweets about all the games during the monthlong 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Along with tweets from your network, users will see relevant tweets from teams, players, coaches, press, venues and celebrities, plus peeks behind the scenes and views from inside and outside the stadiums. 

Users can even change their profile photo to reflect their team loyalties, from waving an England flag to proudly displaying the national colors for Costa Rica or The Netherlands. Look out for "Hashflags" inserted into updates with country hashtags such as #Chile or #Uruguay used.

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The Hollywood Reporter has selected some favorite social media accounts to follow throughout the tournament; check them out below.

As well as giving live news and score updates, the World Cup 2014 Twitter page has a surprisingly witty sense of humor.

Football is England's No. 1 sport, and while their national team is not currently ranked among the best, the BBC Sports coverage is followed by fans around the world.

U.S. national team star Clint Dempsey scores both on the pitch and on Twitter and Instagram thanks to his chatty posts and selfie photo skills.

England player and Manchester United veteran Wayne Rooney has a possible $104 million contract, along with 8.8 million Twitter and 20 million Facebook followers. Along with promoting the many products he endorses, Rooney has a laugh with his loyal fans online.

ESPN is the official network for the World Cup in the U.S., and with 300 staff members currently down in Brazil for their broadcasts, there are many interesting voices to listen to. Jeremy Schaap, globetrotting ESPN reporter and correspondent for E:60 and Outside the Lines, offers blunt and insightful commentary from wherever he is in the world.

ESPN3 and Grantland contributors Men in Blazers, a.k.a. Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, deliver dry wit, football know how and a heavy dose of sarcasm to their updates.

Veteran ESPN anchor Bob Ley is in Rio covering his seventh World Cup, and keeping himself entertained by posting amusing photos.

Resident soccer expert and ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman is educating viewers on what to watch for during the World Cup and the upcoming Premier League season.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Grant Wahl doles out statistical insights with a dose of realism.

Futbol Pictures offers an visual overview of the action with video clips and photos of the plays of the day — such as this levitating image of Neymar.

Italian striker and AC Milan star Mario Ballotelli has both ball and Instagram skills as he shares the World Cup experience as a player.

When she is not cheering for her husband, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots, Gisele Bundchen is supporting her home country of Brazil — literally.

Glee star Kevin McHale wore his loyalty on his back in candid shot while watching SportsCenter.

Meanwhile model Alessandra Ambrosio is SO excited about Brazil's chances. "I'm ready for an unforgettable tournament!!"

Email: Debbie.Emery@THR.com
Twitter: @debemery

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