The final installment in our look into how the Tour de France uses social networks, and having previously looked at Twitter and Facebook, both of which have proved their ability to provide us with high-quality content in real-time, let’s now discover what other networks have to offer, and in particular, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.
While both Pinterest and Instagram took a gamble when they launched themselves – successfully – into the world of amateur photography, offering a visual social network, Google+ has always been clear about its desire to compete directly with Facebook and Twitter. However, the public has not taken to this particular social network, and it is struggling to keep its head above water (read a rather eloquently written article on the use of Google+ by its subscribers).
So, what can these particular social networks offer us as we follow the Tour?
While it’s hard to know just where to begin on Twitter and Facebook, there hardly seems to be any content on Google+. Here are the main accounts providing daily information updates on the 2012 Tour de France:
- The official Tour de France account, with over 28,000 followers
- Cycling the Alps with +18,450 followers
- Cycling Weekly with +1,260 followers
- Le blog de l’Ardoisier with +1,680 followers
- Pro Cycling World Tour with + 1,040 followers
- Martin Régent (the bike portal) with 63 followers
There are a surprisingly large number of boards dedicated to the world’s biggest bike race, and to cycling in general for that matter. Pinterest allows us to view a bunch of photos from the Tour, both from this year’s race and previous editions; these include posters, quirky images, and illustrations, as well as photos of sporting clothes and equipment. Here are the most successful boards dedicated to the TDF12, and to cycling.
- the official Tour de France account has pulled out all the stops on Pinterest, with a detailed account containing no less than 58 boards, all neatly arranged. Here you can find photos from each stage of the 2012 race, along with illustrations, unusual images, and boards dedicated to bridges, castles, sunflowers, and various other sights lining the Tour’s route.
- Annie Goodsell’s account, “The Tour de France and Great Cyclists” is filled with anecdotes and emblematic figures throughout the history of the Tour de France
- Tyler Tyler’s account is very eclectic, and includes photos from TDF12, vintage shots, as well as photos from previous years of the Tour
- The “Orange and the Tour de France” board from the Orange France account
- The Bikes and Bike Art board from the Cycling Prints account, with beautiful illustrations of the Tour de France
- Mo Terry-Carleton has dedicated her board to all things cycling, in a very original way
- The “Cycling art” board from the Velo Mauricie account, with more than 40 pins of various illustrations
- and last but not least, Orange’s Tour de France live blog!
Just like on Twitter, you can post your photos on Instagram via the hashtag #tdf12 or just #tdf, which is more widely used…or perhaps both, that way you can be sure that your photo will be seen by as many people as possible! Instagram is still a newcomer in the world of social networks, yet its recent launch on Android has seen it really take off. Although there aren’t many official accounts to follow as yet, smartphone users have already taken to posting their vintage-style photos on this network. Below you will find a list of accounts, both official and unofficial, that you can follow on Instagram to experience the Tour de France via the medium of photos, with never-before-seen, exclusive images. And if the Tour happens to go past your house, don’t forget to post your souvenir photo using the necessary hashtag!
- Cath_woman is the TDF12 special correspondent for the “Orange France” account
- LCL via its “lclbanque” account
- The Omega Pharma Quick Step Pro Cycling Team via its account, “opqscyclingteam”
- The Movistar Team via its account, “movistar_team”
- CyclingFans via its account, “worldcycling”
- Cycling Photo’s via its account, “cyclingphotos”
- Shaba via the “Nachtmusik” account
- Gregory Ackland via his account, “gregorya”
and don’t forget to check out Orange’s Instagram account “liveorange” that will be full of photos from the weekend of July 14-15, as I will be there. Make sure you don’t miss it!