You Can No Longer Fan Individual American Idol Contestants

If you’re a fan of American Idol and like to interact with this season’s contestants digitally, it’s too late. Fox, broadcaster of the popular reality show, pulled a social media switcheroo and are not continuing with having individual Twitter, MySpace and Facebook accounts for each contestant.

You can no longer follow individual Twitter profiles or become a member of a Season 9 contestant’s Facebook Page. Now, if you do want to do all sorts of fan-like things (sending perosnal notes or congrats, talking trash) at the Official American Idol 9 Contestant pages (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace).

Why would Fox do this? On the one hand, it makes sense for managing social media channels. Why have a multitude of accounts to manage, especially if the current American Idol season is seriously lacking in talent, as a WSJ Speakeasy blog post suggests? However, this might be a lesson for other reality shows to consider sticking to as well. By consolidating accounts, not only are there less to manage, there’s an opportunity to stir up rivalries between fans of different contestants. What’s more, fans of contestant might actually find interest in another — or the show’s staff could recommend that fans of one contestant listen to another. This approach possibly makes the different social media pages “stickier” for fans, increasing the possibiilty that they’ll come back for more, improving their experience compared to following dozens of scattered social media pages.