Google's Olympics 2016 Rio plans: Here's what Search, Maps, YouTube have lined up

Google is rolling out updates to Search, Maps, and YouTube to keep its services in the spotlight during the Olympics.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google's mobile apps will offer automatic updates on main events and results.

Image: Google

Google has announced a range of new features to make it easier for people to stay on top of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which begins this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Google announced on Monday that it's tuning up Search, YouTube, Trends, and Google Maps for a better mobile and online experience that helps fans find event information, official broadcaster video, and user-generated content.

Google will start offering event schedules, medal counts, and athlete information in Search, as well as results and TV schedules, in over 30 countries. Users of the Google app on Android and iOS will also have a new option to get automatic updates on top events and medal winners.

Of course, a major component of Google's Olympics efforts this year will come from YouTube, which has partnered with broadcasters in 60 countries, including the BBC, América Móvil, and NHK. Google says it will provide links to highlights from partner broadcasters in Google Search and through YouTube Watch Cards for Rio 2016.

Google is promoting 15 YouTube stars as local tour guides: they'll be using YouTube's new live-streaming mobile service to share what's happening on the ground in Rio.

Viewers can also see what the current popular Olympic search terms are through Google Trends, as well as explore Rio and games venues in Google Maps.

Google recently completed a Rio-focused project that includes mapping the city's favelas: Maps now has 10,000 local businesses in 26 favelas, as well as the city's iconic monuments, and music theatres. For the Rio Olympics, Google Maps is now offering a look inside some of the stadiums where athletes will be competing in coming weeks.

While competition has yet to begin for the athletes, for Google the Olympics has already begun as fans gear up for the event by watching popular Olympic sports.

According to Google, ads created for Olympics 2016 by its commercial partners have racked up 400 years' worth of viewing time. And if Olympic YouTube watch trends over the past year continue throughout the Olympics, 65 percent of content will be viewed on a mobile device.

Facebook is also getting in on the live-streaming action at the Olympics as part of its partnership with NBC and Facebook. Facebook Live content will include interviews with NBC Olympics commentators and athletes. NBC will also publish a wrap-up of the day's events on Facebook and Instagram.

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