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Are these the Instagram Olympics?

We’ve already wondered if the 2018 Winter Olympics will be remembered as the K-Pop Olympics, but perhaps it could also be called the Instagram Olympics.

A team of researchers, myself included, are looking into how broadcasters are using Instagram to connect with young viewers. While NBC’s ratings for the Rio Games were down 17% overall. In the 18-to-49-year-old age group, ratings were 25% lower than London’s viewership. Our research showed that NBC did not to use Instagram as a promotional tool for the 2016 Games. Based on the fact that 92% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-to-49, NBC missed a substantial opportunity to reach a group of viewers who are both highly desired by advertisers and who were not watching the Olympics on traditional media outlets.

We are now curious to see if NBC learned anything from the Rio debacle so let's take a look at what is happening for NBC in Instagram at the start of 2018 Winter Games .

First, we see NBC engaging with athletes - less than 24 hours after winning the silver medal in the luge, American Chris Mazder (@mazdzer) told NBC in an Instagram post that he went from 10,000 followers on his own account to over 40,000 in just a few hours.

Adam Rippon became a star not just for his figure skating ability, but also his attitude and good looks – both very much on display on his Instagram page

The @NBCOlympics Instagram account has been very active and has used the platform to post results from completed events.

To post behind-the-scenes photos.

And, perhaps most importantly to NBC, promotional posts

With millennials increasing turning away from the Olympics, it appears as if NBC is attempting to use something popular with that age group (Instagram) to recruit more viewers.

Also of interest is @NBCOlympics use of Instagram stories. NBC uses that account to post memes, funny videos, and even more behind the scenes stories. But – just like the main account – several posts are of promotional nature.

It should come as no surprise that NBC wants to get as many viewers as possible on these Olympics. NBC spent $963 million to show the 2018 Winter Olympics, so getting high viewership (which should result in higher advertisement sales) should be a priority.

So far, so good:

And if you miss a moment, check @NBCOlympics on Instagram. It’s likely that there will be a picture or video there for you to catch up with. And check back in with 110Percent when we share the next version of our Olympic Instagram research.