The evolution of Love Island: are its new social media regulations a sign of change?
Will Love Island’s new regulations inhibit the success of this year’s winter Love Island cast? Alexandra Whiteside of No Brainer looks at how the changes have impacted the influencers-to-be.
Will a social media ban work in favor of future Love Island contestants? / Media Modifier
It’s fair to say the latest series of winter Love Island has upped its game after a three-year hiatus, with popular TV presenter and radio DJ Maya Jama taking the reigns as the show’s brand new presenter. However, this still didn’t seem to be enough to persuade fans of the show to tune in with only 1.1 million people deciding to watch the show, a steep drop of one million viewers compared to the season before.
The newest, winter Love Island is one of the first to be affected by several new rules the production team have put in place to ‘protect’ its contestants.
Previous series saw Islanders tot up hundreds of thousands of followers in just a few days of being the villa, thanks to carefully selected family and friends maintaining their socials while they were on our screens. But this year’s social media ban has left the 2023 Love Islanders with significantly fewer followers compared to previous years.
With many entering the show hoping for a partnership deal with brands following their short stint, could the lower social following impact their chances?
The social media ban: How has this affected the Islanders’ social following?
In previous years, cast members usually gave the responsibility of ‘managing’ their social account to someone close to them while they were in the villa. But after countless complaints to Ofcom due to misogynistic behavior and bullying, the Love Island producers decided to put in place the social media ban to try and reduce the hate stars received while on the show.
The top three most followed stars after this year’s show are Jessie Wynter in the lead with 763k followers, closely followed by her partner Will Young with 550k followers and Samie Elishi with 468k followers.
In order, the four final couples rank as follows: Samie Elishi with 468k followers; Lana Jenkins with 426k followers; Tom Clare with 374k followers; Sanam Harrinanan with 335k followers; Kai Fagan with 320k followers; Ron Hall with 278k followers; Tanya Manhenga with 194k followers; and Shaq Muhammad with 170k followers.
Sanam potentially may be impacted by the social media ban as her following has not increased drastically since her appearance on the show. At the time the show ended, she only had 300,000 followers compared to the millions of followers from previous Love Island winners.
Behavior training is now compulsory for all islanders before they enter the villa. The cast will listen to interviews from former stars discussing their experience on the show. This new rule has come in place in an attempt to squash bullying and discrimination that the show has received complaints about in previous years.
Some of the topics discussed include the two-week period before entering the villa, how to cope with being filmed 24/7, understanding mutually respectful behavior in relationships and the support their family can access.
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For each Islander, their life will change dramatically once the show ends, which is why producers have made it a priority to provide a proactive ‘aftercare’ package, giving the islanders access to a welfare team.
This aftercare package includes psychological support, training on financial management, advice on choosing management teams, help and support with handling negativity online and access to eight therapy sessions after they leave the villa.
How will this affect the future of the show?
Overall, there’s been many positive changes to Love Island in 2023 to protect the Islander’s mental health and well-being. Although it could inhibit their success, which can be seen from the social stats, we’ll have to wait and see if brands are on board with this shift in social presence.
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