social media

Social craze: Cheryl Cole returns to the X Factor

Cheryl Cole created sparks across social media this week with her announcement on Instagram that she is to return to ITV talent

Cheryl Cole created sparks across social media this week with her announcement on Instagram that she is to return to ITV talent show ‘The X Factor’.
The photo went viral almost instantly, with the post receiving more than 77,000 likes (at the time of publication of this article), along with widespread excitement on Twitter. But why has this particular trend received Kettle’s “social craze” status?
When a celebrity has an important announcement to make, they usually take to Twitter in order to quickly convey their message in fewer than 140 characters and gain a large number of retweets.
However, Ms Cole took a slightly less conventional social media route by using photo- and video-sharing app Instagram, which has significantly lower activity than other social networks: 1.2 billion likes per day in contrast with Facebook’s 4.5 billion.
Ms Cole confirmed that she is to return for the show’s 11th series by posting a photo of her with her hands around executive producer Simon Cowell’s throat, and the caption: “I might actually wring his neck.”
Increasing audience figures
The use of Instagram in this playful way helps Ms Cole target the younger age group who use the social media network, as Instagram only requires a low-quality mobile phone camera, which the vast majority of teenagers own nowadays.
After all, teenagers and young people are one of the main target groups for the TV programme and are those who would be most excited for her return. Furthermore following Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram back in 2012, her post will reach an even wider audience.
ITV are hoping that her appearance back on the show will boost ratings, after last year audiences hit a low of 11.5 million watching Sam Bailey’s win. When Ms Cole was previously on the show back in 2010, audience figures were at 17.7 million.
Sources close to the show revealed to Perez Hilton: “The deal was done over the weekend. Simon is absolutely delighted to have her back on the judging panel. Over the last 18 months, Cheryl and Simon have got back in touch and slowly repaired their relationship… It’s all very last minute but now there’s due to be an announcement… It’s really exciting… Simon is delighted that she is back. With him and her on the panel it’s a dream ticket.”
Mr Cowell also said on Twitter:


Rumour mill
Another reason why Ms Cole’s announcement caused so much hysteria was due to the suspense she built up before her latest Instagram post.
For example, in February she posted an image of her and Mr Cowell back in 2010 when they were both on the panel together, with the caption #TBT, meaning Throwback Thursday, when people upload an old image onto social media.
A fan commented on the image saying: “Are you trying to tell us something Lady C?”
More recently too, the singer posted a picture of Mr Cowell with his newborn son Eric, wishing the parents congratulations. This suggested further that her and Mr Cowell had made up following her suing of ‘The X Factor USA’, when she was sacked after only three weeks on the judging panel in 2011.
It will be interesting to see whether the craze of her return on social media translates through to ‘The X Factor’ and really does improve its viewing figures.
What do you think of the excitement surrounding Cheryl Cole’s return to ‘The X Factor’ on social media? Have your say in the comments section below.
Photo: rustyallie / Flickr