Events the scale of the Olympic Games provide a suitable scenario for publishers looking to experiment with new forms of coverage.

But how can they stand out at a time when they are likely to be competing for attention with plenty of other organisations who are also interviewing the same medal winners and trying to capture the mood inside the Olympic arena?

CNN has an entire team of international and sports correspondents, digital journalists and producers on the ground in Rio and they are all working together to give people a look inside the city and the Games, on all platforms where the organisation has an audience.

For example, on 13 August, CNN social producer Masuma Ahuja spent 15 minutes in the back of a motorcycle taxi in Rio, going up the streets of the city in the bustling traffic to show Facebook Live viewers the route to one of Rio's favelas.

CNN has done other Facebook Lives from Rio, such as a walk down Copacabana beach or the Olympic Boulevard, all aimed at "giving people a sense of what it's like to be there", but livestreaming from the back of a motorcycle was an opportunity to show the audience more than just one part of the city.

"I was chatting to one of our producers here, who mentioned the motorcycles going up to one of the favelas and that's when it struck me that it's a cool idea, going through the traffic and letting viewers experience this feeling with us," Ahuja told

Ahuja is not confined to specific platforms or required to produce a set amount of content for them, so her approach consists of speaking with the rest of CNN staff every day, seeing what else is on the agenda in terms of coverage, and then figuring out what is interesting and where "the story makes sense".

"We have a presence on so many platforms, but it wouldn't have been the same if I'd just taken a photo from the back of a motorcycle, right?"

A few days earlier, Ahuja went down to the beach with a few colleagues to watch the volleyball competition and realised she felt slightly out of place as she did not have any Olympics or Brazil fan gear with her. So she had the idea of doing a piece for the CNN website on how much it costs to be a fully decked-out fan of the Games.

She decided to visit one of Rio's largest open air markets, Saara, where Olympics items were on sale everywhere, and try to recreate the shopping experience through Facebook Live, but also by tweeting about the items she had bought later on and how much everything ended up costing.

"It was a different way of capturing the experience here and what it's like to be a fan," she said.

Messaging apps have also been a part of Ahuja's social media coverage – through CNN's Facebook Messenger bot, users could experience the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

And on Kik, CNN developed two 'choose your own adventure' experiences. The first one took people along on a walk on Copacabana beach, where they could ask passers-by questions or choose to keep walking.

"I walked down the beach and spoke to people and tried to recreate that experience on the messaging app, which was a lot of fun.

"I think people are enjoying it, it's a creative way of telling a story and it's different."

The second experience portrayed a day in the life of Charlotte Caslick, who was instrumental in ensuring Australia's victory in the women's rugby tournament at the Olympics.

Users could experience what it was like to be in Caslick's shoes by tapping their way through the journey, choosing whether or not they wanted get out of bed for breakfast or snooze the alarm when it went off at 7am, for example.

"We're still in the experimental phase with Kik and Messenger, but it's opening our eyes to a different way we can tell stories on there and that's exciting," Ahuja said.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).