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Facebook & Twitter duke it out for most Olympic-related activity

During previous Olympic Games, all eyes were fixed on television screens. This year, the TV competed with smartphone, tablet, and computer screens more than ever.

According to Twitter, the micro-blogging site recorded more than 150 million tweets about the Olympics during its 16-day run. Facebook also measured unprecedented growth in users' 'Likes' of athletes' posts.

Based on Twitter's data, the most exciting moments came during the heat of competition, not necessarily during the medal-winning conclusion of a sport. Kobe Bryant's dunk at the end of the USA-Spain basketball game and Hope Solo's land-diving save in the USA-Japan soccer match both won gold in terms of tweets.

The site also pinpointed the five biggest moments in London's two-week competition, as measured by the number of tweets per minute: Jamaica's Usain Bolt's 200m and 100m sprints, Andy Murray's gold in men's tennis singles, Jamaica winning gold and setting the world record in the men's 4x100 relay, and Team USA beating Spain in men's basketball for the gold medal.

Bolt ended the games with the record for being the most discussed athlete on Twitter, followed by nine others, including Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, Gabby Douglas, Yohan Blake, and Lee Chong Wei.

On the Facebook front, social media marketing firm Wildfire - which was recently acquired by Google - examined London 2012's top performing athletes on Facebook. Wildfire looked at athlete fan base growth and who had the most engaged followers. Surprisingly, few of the players overlapped between the two social networks, in terms of front-runners.

Jamaica, thanks to Bolt, took the first-place spot among countries with the most global reach on Facebook; Bolt's page has more than seven million likes. Tennis stars pushed Switzerland and Russia into second and third place, with help from the popularity of Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, respectively.

All social networks are not created equal, though.

According to Wildfire's data, the most popular athletes had a 96 per cent larger fan base on Facebook than on Twitter. The median number of Facebook fans per top athlete was more than five times the number of Twitter followers, Wildfire found.

Still, Twitter action reached great heights, collecting more than five million tweets about soccer - the post popular sport among short-form conversationalists.