'American Idol' Opens Voting at Top of Show, Partners With Google, Facebook
The Fox show introduces real-time results and dynamic search.
For the first time in American Idol's 13 seasons on the air, voters will be able to cast votes during the show through Google Search. In addition, Facebook is now going to provide Idol with on-air visual trends based on the voting that happens on its platform.
The partnership is a TV industry first and launches with Wednesday night's episode. Built by Google, this new, dynamic voting capability connects to the Internet giant's search function and presents itself right on the page when fans search on Idol-related terms. After choosing their favorites, fans will have the opportunity to share their votes on Google+, follow contestants, join community conversations or participate in Google Hangouts about the show.
In another major announcement, the voting window will open at the beginning of the show and Facebook will power images showing real-time East Coast voting trends, allowing at-home viewers to get a first-ever look at a variety of voting data, such as demographic voting trends and relative contestant rankings -- as they happen live.
American Idol's longtime affiliation with AT&T, which introduced text voting back in season one, ended after a 12-year run, it was announced in January. But with these two tech and social giants choosing to put their brands behind Idol point to a continued resilience, despite slipping ratings.
The Top 13 perform tonight (Feb. 26) on Fox.