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Facebook didn’t release its typical audience metrics for the PyeongChang Olympics

Curling and U.S. snowboarder Shaun White were popular Olympics topics on Facebook — we just don’t know how popular.

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 11
Gold medal winners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada celebrate during the victory ceremony for the Figure Skating Ice Dance Free Dance on day eleven of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Olympics are already over, and while American athletes didn’t dominate the podium, they did dominate the public conversation on Facebook.

On Monday, the social network unveiled some data about the past 17 days of Olympics-related conversations, including things like the “most-talked-about athlete,” U.S. snowboarder Shaun White; the “most-talked-about sports,” figure skating and curling; and the “most-’Liked’ post,” this great post highlighting many of the female athletes who represented African countries at the Games.

What was almost as interesting as the data Facebook did share, though, is what Facebook didn’t share: Total audience and interaction data around the Olympics, the standard metrics the company shares for almost all major events, like the World Cup, the Rio Olympics, the Sochi Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Snowboarder Shaun White smiles and holds up his 2018 Olympic gold medal.
Gold medalist Shaun White of the United States
Quinn Rooney / Getty

Facebook usually releases a blog boasting that a massive number of people created a massive amount of Olympics-related interactions on Facebook over the course of the games. They aren’t doing that this year. A spokesperson says the company isn’t planning to share that data and didn’t elaborate as to why.

We have a guess. It’s possible that the numbers Facebook saw this year were smaller than the ones it announced for previous Olympics competitions — no one likes touting metrics that are getting smaller. If true, the downward trend would align with other data about the 2018 Olympics. TV viewership for NBC’s coverage of the PyeongChang Olympics was down 7 percent over Sochi’s ratings four years ago, for example.

So there was less interest in the Olympics on TV than there was four years ago. Maybe Facebook noticed the same thing.

Either way, here’s the list of the most-talked-about athletes on Facebook during the Olympics. American athletes did dominate this competition:

  1. Shaun White, Snowboarding, USA
  2. Red Gerard, Snowboarding, USA
  3. Adam Rippon, Figure Skating, USA
  4. Chloe Kim, Snowboarding, USA
  5. Scott Moir, Ice Dancing, Canada
  6. Tessa Virtue, Ice Dancing, Canada
  7. Martin Fourcade, Biathlon, France
  8. Lindsey Vonn, Alpine Skiing, USA
  9. Nathan Chen, Figure Skating, USA
  10. Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing, USA

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