With FIFA World Cup 2014 all set to kick off on Thursday, the social media is keeping a close eye on Brazil, trying to earn big from the much-awaited sporting event. And now, Facebook is trying to woo advertisers, by claiming its user base is the world's biggest stadium.
The social networking giant, which will take on Twitter and major TV networks in live events marketing, claims it has 500m users with an interest in football. The figure, based on links and page likes by its users, is much higher than monthly active user base of Twitter, which stands at 255m.
Even the FIFA World Cup facebook page alone has 20m followers.
"For the first time in 2014, we, all of us, are carrying around a mobile stadium in our pockets, where you will be watching, learning scores, team sheets, changes, injuries, substitutes - all of it - and sharing it," Will Platt-Higgins, director of global accounts at Facebook, told Financial Times. "That is a hugely compelling thing for a marketer."
But Twitter might give Facebook a run for its money as it has earned popularity after the record-breaking tweets at this year's Oscars. It had even provided advertising agencies to create ads on a trial basis, while watching football footage.
Several other sites like YouTube, Weibo, Renren and VK will also catch the attention of advertising agencies as the World Cup progresses.
FIFA World Cup 2014 Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup 2014 will take place at Arena Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo on Thursday before the hosts take on Croatia in the opening game.
Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte will perform the FIFA World Cup Song, titled "We Are One (Ole Ola)", while Jennifer Lopez, who also featured in the song, has opted out.
Beyonce Knowles and The Beatles's Sir Paul McCartney will also perform at the opening ceremony, though it's not known whether they will appear together or give individual performances.
Palestinian "Arab Idol" winner Mohammed Assaf has also been reportedly invited by FIFA president Sepp Blatter to perform live at the big event. More than 600 dancers are going to set the stadium on fire with their performances, according to FIFA official website.
"The Opening Ceremony is a tribute to Brazil and its treasures: nature, people football," the show's artistic director Daphne Cornez told FIFA. "The sense of excitement here is amazing and everyone is very motivated. It doesn't matter whether they're feeling tired or hot sometimes or if they have to go through routines again and again: they just keep on smiling. It's amazing."
The FIFA World Cup 2014 opening ceremony will kick off at 3:15pm local time (17:00 GMT / 10:30pm IST) at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil and end at 5:15pm (19:00 GMT / 12:30am IST Friday) on Thursday.