The 2021 Paralympic Games begins next week (8/24), and ahead of the main event, Facebook has announced a new range of tools to help users participate in the Games, and stay up to date with the latest results and happenings.
First off, on Facebook, users will soon be able to access a new Paralympics hub, which will provide up-to-the-minute insights on the latest results, news, and highlights.
As you can see in these example screenshots, the new Paralympic hub will also include athlete and team profiles and interactive elements - like a Games quiz to help maximize engagement. The hub will also feature related posts from your connections in order to highlight key conversations of interest.
Facebook's Paralympics Games hub will be available from August 23rd, and will be accessible by tapping on the #Paralympics hashtag.
Over on Instagram, the @Paralympics Instagram account is now hosting a new AR effect which enables users to attempt to mirror the movements of Someity, the official Paralympics mascot.
The Paralympics account has also shared a range of content that explains the rules and history behind various events.
In addition to this, the @Wethe15 Instagram account is also now hosting a new AR effect which is designed to help fans promote the “We the 15” movement. 'We the 15' aims to end discrimination against people with disabilities, who make up 15% of the global population.
Facebook's also hosting a range of exclusive Paralympics content, including live programming and highlights on the Paralympic Games Facebook Page, exclusive, behind-the-scenes clips via Instagram Reels and a new WebXR "visual and spatial audio experience which recreates phenomenal moments by Para athletes".
And finally, Facebook's also launched a new, four-part short film series, in conjunction with the IPC, which provides more context on the spirit of the Paralympic Games, and how the event has facilitated positive change for disabled communities around the world. The videos also highlight the role that Facebook plays within this shift.
As per Facebook:
"In support of #WeThe15, and available via the Paralympic Games Facebook Page, the series highlights how Facebook helps communities in the US, UK, Brazil and New Zealand come together online - and the real-world impact it has offline."
The Paralympics is an important event, in both facilitating inclusion and providing opportunity for all athletes to compete and showcase their skills. As such, it's good to see Facebook providing tools to encourage participation and engagement, while also giving Paralympic athletes a means to maintain connection with their supporter communities.