Twitter makes ‘American Idol’ even more interactive (content quality still questionable)

idolFor years, “American Idol” has been one of the most popular shows on American television. It’s also one of the most interactive; how many other shows – except various live music reality competitions – allow viewers to have a say in the outcome of each episode, after all? To kick things up a notch, the Fox series will become just that little bit more interactive, as viewers gain the ability to participate in on-screen polls via Twitter.

The New York Times’ Brian Stelter broke the story that, as of Wednesday, producers of the show would invite comment on the show in real time – or, as close to it as possible, considering the time zone delay for those in different regions of the country. Fox reportedly plans to repeat the polls in each broadcast, allowing for different results depending on geography, via on-screen questions for viewers to respond to using the micro-blogging network.

“Graphics on this Fox singing competition will include questions like ‘Do you agree with the judges tonight?’ and two hashtags with differing answers,” Stelter wrote. “Viewers with Twitter accounts, if they want to participate, will post a comment with one of the two hashtags, and the network and its production partner, FremantleMedia, will update the graphic almost instantly as the results come in. They say it will look like an online tug of war.”

The idea, it appears, is to increase the appeal of watching Idol live, as opposed to saving to for DVR viewing at a later time. “Part of the objective is to say, ‘The best possible experience is when you watch it live,” Fox’s president of digital, David Wertheimer, told the NYT. “Ultimately, you can see how this dynamic experience could potentially influence the show in real time.”

Many network shows have tried to leverage the social-stickiness of their programmings before – The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” has famously found some level of success doing so – and it’s possible that this kind of experiment is exactly the kind of thing that could give Idol the bump it’s needed … especially if the producers go to the extent of allowing viewer tweets to appear onscreen. If we can have live tweets appearing during the presidential debate, why not, right?

In order for it to fully have the intended impact, however, the interaction would require viewers to input more than simply voting in a meaningless poll. Instead of asking whether or not viewers agree with the judges, why not place Twitter votes in with the already-established phone votes to judge whether or not certain singers make it to the next episode?

Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.