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As teams and soccer fans alike prepare for the World Cup in South Africa, social media sites are preparing for what could be a record level of activity.

Many say the 2010 World Cup will be the first of the social media age. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become more popular since the last World Cup took place in 2006 in Germany. And with soccer being such a popular sport internationally, the World Cup tournament seems ripe to see high levels of social media activity.

From CNN:

Social media now connects millions around the world -- 50 million tweets are sent daily while Facebook boasts more than 400 million active users -- a development that will allow fans separated by distance to celebrate goals or critique referee decisions together online.

"Football is the world's biggest sport, so the world will practically stop for the month of the World Cup," Matt Stone, head of new media for world soccer's governing body FIFA, told CNN.

The article quotes a Twitter employee as saying the World Cup may eclipse everything the site has experienced so far - including the Oscars and Super Bowl.

FIFA also has plans to get in on the action. It will have its own social networking service on the FIFA.com website.

World Cup action starts on June 11. Are you planning to use social media while watching?

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Follow Daryl Paranada at @darylparanada