Imma let you finish, Twitter ... but these Games belonged just as much to the *other* social media.
The London Olympics were supposed to be the "social media Olympics." They were supposed to be the Olympics when viewers around the world, enabled by Twitter and Facebook and other free communications services, could come together to discuss the competition and pageantry playing out on their television sets. Or, if they were lucky enough, on their computer screens.
And these Olympics were, to an extent, exactly that: Facebook saw soaring numbers for the Facebook fan bases of Olympic athletes. Twitter, not to be outdone, logged over 150 million Olympic-related tweets over the past 16 days. But these Olympics ended up being something else, too. The drama playing out in London ended up bringing people together through a very particular kind of social media: memes. Visual memes, ridiculous memes, memes that took the imagery of the Games and augmented it.
London 2012 was McKayla Maroney's scowl, all the way down.
And that makes sense: These were the first Olympics that took place after meme-driven sites like Reddit and Buzzfeed had gone (more) mainstream. They were the first that took place after animated GIFs had seen a glorious resurgence. They were the first that took place after memes themselves -- often generated by easy meme-generating tools like MemeGenerator and ZipMeme -- had become a standard means of spreading messages and delight throughout the Internet.