‘American Idol’ Partners With Google, Facebook for New Voting Options

The partnership will also include revealing voting trends in real time for the first time in the Fox show’s history

Google and Facebook will be providing a new voting experience for “American Idol” fans.

Fox Digital SVP Bill Bradford says the initiative will improve viewers’ connection to the show.

“With the help of innovators like Google and Facebook, this season, we’re deepening [viewers’] connection by making it easy for fans to make a bigger impact and be a bigger part of the show than ever before,” he said.

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Under the partnership with show producers FremantleMedia, 19 Entertainment/CORE Media Group and FOX, Google will provide its users the ability to vote from Google search for Season 13’s finalists on the Fox singing competition. The initiative will begin with the first finalist performance show on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 8/7c.

For Facebook’s part, the social media site will show voting trends in real time for East Coast viewers during select live shows. This will be the first time “Idol” will provide voting stats in advance of revealing the results on-air. The possibilities can include revealing vote velocity, rankings in different demographic areas, etc., but not necessarily the straight up leaderboard numbers.

Additionally, voters and supporters can chime in and back their favorite performer on Facebook. Those who do may become part of the show via their actual Facebook profile picture featured on the telecast. The partnership taps into the already existing 11 million fans of “Idol” on Facebook.

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“[With] all of the conversations people are already having on Facebook around live television events, there is an endless amount of creative potential through our partnership. We’re very much looking forward to seeing that creativity come to life on and off Facebook throughout this season,” said Facebook’s vice president of media partnerships and global operations, Justin Osofsky.

How will Google voting work? According to the announcement:

Fans will be able to vote via Google when the IDOL vote window opens at the top of the show – and every live performance show thereafter – by searching for IDOL-related terms. Any of these searches will reveal a voting platform where fans can cast their votes for their favorite performers. After casting their votes, fans will have the opportunity to share their votes on Google+, follow contestants, join community conversations or participate in Google Hangouts about the show.

“We’ve partnered with ‘American Idol’ to make it easy and convenient for fans to vote for their favorite ‘Idol’ performers using Google Search — whether they’re on their computers, phones or tablets,” said Google’s Product Management vice president for Google Search, Anjali Joshi. “People come to Google to find information, and we’re excited to now also power their voting experience.”

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With this new partnership, there will be five ways to vote for “American Idol” finalists: Google Search, online at AmericanIdol.com, the “American Idol” App, text messaging and toll-free calling — all managed and certified by Telescope, Inc., an independent vote management company.