In preparation for the upcoming summer Olympics held in London, Facebook has launched a new centralized portal for access to Olympic-related pages on the social network.
The new portal was announced at an event in London earlier today and currently features links to official Facebook pages for 170 athletes, 58 countries and all 25 Olympic sports. Additional athlete pages will be added to the portal prior to the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in July. The portal isn"t the result of an official partnership between Facebook and the Olympic Games, however. While Facebook received help from the International Olympic Committee, it has no formal partnership with the Olympics" governing body. This may have to do with the fact that both Twitter and Google+ are expected to launch similar features in the near future.
Facebook"s new Olympic portal is unique in that it features no advertisements, unlike other Facebook pages. This is because the Olympic Games already has sponsorship agreements in place that could potentially conflict with other advertisements that may appear on Facebook, as pointed out by The Next Web. Since Facebook"s portal isn"t an official sponsorship, it can"t provide advertisements on the page that would allow the company to benefit financially.
Last month NBC and YouTube announced that all 302 Olympic events would be streamed online in the United States through NBC"s Olympic website. YouTube will provide the infrastructure for the service, although the live videos won"t be featured on the YouTube website.