Brand of the day: One Direction
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Our brand of the day is One Direction.
Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan have announced they are to go their separate ways next year to focus on solo projects.
The Sun broke the story, with a source telling showbiz journalist Dan Wootton: "The guys have been together for five years, which is an incredible run for any boyband.
"There is absolutely no bad blood between them and they are all 100 per cent behind the decision."
With over 3bn combined YouTube views, their own movie, 23.7m US song downloads and almost 25 million followers on Twitter the pop outfit are the most successful act to have come out of the X-Factor, despite finishing in third place.
A five-piece until Zayn Malik's departure earlier this year, the band members auditioned separately for the reality TV show before being grouped together by producers and signed up to Simon Cowell's record label Syco Entertainment.
Following the success of their first single, 'What Makes You Beautiful', the band amassed a loyal collective of fans who identified themselves as 'One Directioners' on social media.
The boyband's influence on social media peaked in 2013 when research revealed that they had more power on the plaform that David Cameron. However, a dangerous trend emerged in March this year when members of the fandom began self-harming and posting the images to Twitter under the hashtag #CutForZayn.
While Malik didn't respond to the images, he issued a statement saying: "I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.
"I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."
The boys have encountered their fair share of controversy over the past five years.
Malik found himself on the receiving end of death threats last year after posting a message saying '#FreePalestine' to his 30 million Twitter followers, while Liam Payne was forced to issue an apology to fans urging them not to copy his stunt after pictures of him emerged standing on the ledge a dangerously high balcony in London.
The split, which hasn't been confirmed by One Direction's label as of yet, is scheduled for March 2016 and will take place after the realse of the band's fifth studio album.
While there's been no news of a farewell tour, the group have nine more North American dates to play this year followed by another 25 concerts in the UK and Ireland.