In news that will please all those who treat the X Factor live shows as a Twitter Event, it seems that Twitter voting is being considered for the next series. Anyone who's ever been on Twitter during an X Factor show knows full well that there's no point trying to discuss anything else in those two Saturday night hours, so it's pretty much a no-brainer that they would want to harness that hashtag-tastic power.
According to a source, though, the voting would be done via direct messaging (DMs) which surely the worst way of voting via Twitter. Think about it: for DM voting to work, the X Factor Twitter feed would have to follow back literally every single follower, which would be nigh on impossible to achieve on a normal day to day basis, let alone the huge influx of new followers that would undoubtedly arrive each weekend, clicking 'follow' to be able to vote for free. Or you have an auto-follow-back function, meaning the X Factor feed would follow back every single spammy pornbot and US real estate agent that followed them.
Not only that, but the DM feature of Twitter is one of the clunkiest. We're sure you noticed last time you tried to send a picture of your downstairs shame garden to your internet lovemachine and you accidentally Tweeted it to all 17 of your followers. Or the time you had no DMs for ages and ages and then BOOM three days' worth suddenly appeared in your inbox.
Other, better, ways of harnessing the Twitter vote are:
- Hashtag voting: Just have people hashtag, like, #voteforJedward or #voteforWagner, then count up the hashtags. Easy.
- RT/Favorite*-based voting: The X Factor feed does Tweets saying "RT/Fav this if you want to vote for Diva Fever!" and then counts up the RT/Favs. Easy.
- Twitter poll voting: there are approximately a million different Twitter poll clients. Pick one, get votes. Easy
But who cares what we think, huh? It's hardly as if we live on the internet and watch way too much reality TV or anything (wait...)
The source sees a problem, but it isn't with the general crappiness of the DM-voting system:
"Twitter explodes when The X Factor is on so it makes sense to see if this can be harnessed for voting.
"But, obviously, there is currently no way of charging for this so that could create a problem."
The money thing is obviously a huge deal, and we can see the social media voting for the X Factor working in a different way to the traditional phone/text voting. For example, America's Next Top Model sees the viewers vote (somehow...) via social media, and this score is then taken into account in an aggregated and confusing way alongside the judges' scores. We can see X Factor doing something similar, which will mean that while the show is harnessing Twitter buzz, the social media vote will be far less of a big deal and the majority of the weight will still be given to the phone voting.
One thing will be sure, though: this will likely lead to the X Factor becoming the UK Twitter account with the highest number of followers, which is a pretty transparent motive for offering free votes...
Ooh, you sneaky bugger, Simon Cowell. #nicetry