“American Idol” Lets Fans Vote Through Facebook“American Idol”, which is one of the most popular television shows in the US, has made it possible for fans to vote for the best performers through Facebook. This happened for the first time ever yesterday, March 1 2011, after the first performance show.

This was first announced by Entertainment Weekly blog, where it is also stated by the creator of the show, Simon Fuller, that this is something they have wanted to do for years. However, Facebook has now made it possible for them to launch this initiative.

Greater involvement from fans

“American Idol” has allowed viewers to vote for their favorite contestants online at americanidol.com. Sponsored by AT&T, online voting begins immediately after the first performance show. In addition to online voting, fans will continue to be able to vote via toll-free phone lines, as well as unlimited text-message votes for AT&T wireless customers during the voting window.

Users are able to use their Facebook accounts to reach an “Idol” voting page on americanidol.com that will include all the current contestants. To vote, fans have to choose their favorite contestant, complete the security verification and then submit their choice. After each performance show and during the online voting window, fans may cast up to 50 total online votes for that evening’s performances. Only fans with a registered Facebook account in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are able to give their votes.

As mentioned, viewers are still able to vote via text messaging and toll-free phone calls as always, but this new initiative will probably create even higher engagement from the viewers of “American Idol”. Thus, it’s going to be interesting to see how much of the votes that will happen online in the future compared to via phone. And will this maybe effect the way other reality TV-shows make use of social media?

What do you think about this new initiative from “American Idol”?