Fans of the resoundingly popular talent contest, The X Factor, will soon be able to vote for their favourite act on the social networking website, Facebook, if talks between Fox, Simon Cowell and X Factor producers are successful.
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|Simon Cowell, who will star in and executive produce the U.S. X-Factor with FremantleMedia North America and Fox.|
The move is being driven by the reality TV mogul, Cowell, in a bid to covet an audience as youthful as the show enjoys in the UK, where it delivers far more younger viewers than any other unscripted TV show.
Estimates say that 60 percent of X Factor’s UK audience is aged between 15 – 34.
The upcoming US version of the singing competition is rumoured to allow voting to take place via Facebook during the final rounds of the show alongside traditional phone voting, the Hollywood Reporter claimed.
While details and security issues are still being negotiated, it is unclear whether the deal will be sealed in time for the show’s first season on US networks, scheduled for September.
The plan is for viewers to be able to vote for contestants via their own Facebook page or an X-Factor application.
However, it was reported that the roll -out would not be part of Facebook globally, and would not include other versions of X Factor which are aired around the world.
The deal is being thrashed out as a way of distinguishing X Factor from other US competitors and from American Idol in particular, which Cowell hosted for nine seasons.
Insiders say a deal with Facebook is likely to ruffle feathers inside News Corp, parent company of Fox and long-time rival, MySpace.
American Idol had used MySpace to allow potential contestants to submit video of themselves for its current season of shows. Idol is produced by Nigel Lythgoe, who said that his show is also planning to include online voting, though not via Facebook.
Facebook has 550 million users worldwide, and is by far the largest social networking website in the US, giving X Factor a huge promotional platform and an opportunity for fans to engage with the show via a service most already use.
In the UK, Cowell has been a driving force behind the move to online voting, where the X Factor already uses Facebook and Twitter to boost audience engagement. Contestants communicate with fans directly, with viewers generating around 500 tweets a second when the show is airing.