NEW YORK – During the group stages of this year’s World Cup, a record 136 goals were scored – leading to more than one billion Facebook posts and comments.
Data scientists from the social network analysed these posts to study the use of the word ‘goal’, and to see how people were stretching out the term, such as ‘gooooal’.
They discovered that users in Venezuela were the most vocal, with an average 21 characters per goal post, but among teams in the competition, Mexico fans have added the most letters with 12.8.
Meanwhile Iran and Nigeria were at the bottom of the list adding only 0.18 and 0.39 extra letters respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the fans of teams that scored more goals were more vocal, and it may be that Iranian fans had little to shout about.
The longest exuberant mention of the word ‘goal,’ in any language, came from Argentina in celebration of Lionel Messi’s free-kick goal against Nigeria on June 25.
That particular mention of ‘gol’ contained 20,400 letter ‘o’s.
Facebook’s data team explained that if someone was to hold down the ‘o’ key on a keyboard for that amount of characters, it would take roughly 12 minutes to type.
Due to the language differences, the researchers compared the relative number of extra characters within each version of the word goal, including ‘gol’ and ‘tor’.
They found that only in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and German do people significantly use redundant characters in exuberant posts.
THE LEAST ENTHUSIASTIC FANS
1. Iran: 0.18 extra characters
2. Nigeria: 0.39
3. UK: 0.42
4. Croatia: 0.53
5. Australia: 0.63
6. Portugal: 0.75
7. Cameroon: 0.8
8. Italy: 0.88
9. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 0.95
10. South Korea: 1.2
The top five countries were Venezuela (21.2 characters), Gabon (18.4), Tunisia (13.4), Mexico (12.8) and Montenegro (12.8).