Twitter Voting for 'X Factor' May Change the TV Game

Tired of the existing technology options for voting for your favorite X Factor contestant? Boy, who isn't. It's so incredibly tedious to pick up a phone in order to make a call or send a text, and God knows going to the website is a total drag. I mean, having to type in a URL or click a link—what am I, some kind of animal?

Thank goodness the folks at Fox have finally come up with an easier way, because these Dark Ages methods were just getting exhausting. Now all you have to do to vote is follow @TheXFactorUSA on Twitter (Fox recommends also following the judges, the host, and the acts "for the ultimate insider experience"), and send the account a direct message.

The ability to DM your vote starts with the next live show on Wednesday, November 2. Wow, this is so exciting! It almost makes me want to start watching the show!


(Not really.)

Despite my own reluctance to jump on the X Factor bandwagon, producers are clearly hoping that combining social media with competition shows will make viewers feel more involved and thus boost ratings. This is probably especially critical to the U.S. version of The X Factor, whose viewership hasn't been nearly as impressive as show creator Simon Cowell initially predicted.

While The X Factor is the first to use Twitter DMs as a voting method, other competition shows have been exploring the latest tech-savvy options for boosting viewer engagement. American Idol gave viewers the choice of voting via the show’s Facebook page during Season 10, while The Voice offered the slightly diabolical option of allowing fans to vote by purchasing a contestant's song on iTunes. Meanwhile, the design competition Project Runway lets fans vote for a “Fan Favorite” every episode by using Twitter hashtags.

Currently, there are five options to cast your vote for your favorite X Factor finalist:

Phone. Old-school, but hey, it's free. Each act gets their own toll-free number, which will appear onscreen after their performance.

Text. Each act also gets their own four-digit short code for Verizon customers to text in their vote.

Online. You can vote online at The X Factor's website, as long as you have a Facebook account.

Mobile app. Yes, there's an app for that. If you're a Verizon subscriber with an Android device, you can vote via The Xtra Factor App, which is a free download.

And of course, now you can DM the show as well. Whew, it almost makes me nostalgic for snail mail.

The question is, do you care enough to use ANY of these options? If so, which are you most likely to use? And do you think the increased convenience of voting will change how you feel about reality competitions?

Image via Twitter

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