MTV, the music-branded TV cable station known for reality shows about teen moms, has long been at the forefront of culture. As the millennial cable channel of choice, the station has created a deep integration with social media. For the first time, the station will allow voting by Instagram for this weekend's MTV Movie Awards ceremony.
The MTV Movie Awards have differentiated themselves from stuffy movie ceremonies with categories that are more akin to what Multiplex movie-goers would discuss rather than film critics ("best fight," "best kiss," "best villain" -- they don't have those at the Golden Globes).
While nominees in the various categories are decided by producers and executives, the winners have always been decided by viewers. As technology--specifically social media--has evolved, so has the method of voting. In addition to voting directly on MTV's movie award site and via text, viewers can elect the "Best Hero" using specific hashtags (#votesnowwhite, #votebilbo, #voteironman, #votebatman, #votecatwoman, #votehag).
Bringing Instagram into the mix
Last year, the best hero was decided by Twitter hashtags, however this year, Instagram hashtags will be thrown into the mix. In regards to the new voting feature, MTV encourages users to "Get creative on Instagram--dress up as your favorite hero, tag a selfie, etc." The 'grams using voting hashtags will be displayed on MTV's social Instagram wall and displayed during this weekend's festivities.
MTV has often been on media's bleeding edge by pioneering reality television, animated series aimed at older audiences, and incorporating social media into its programming. So, perhaps they are once again being culturally prescient and we will vote for President by taking a selfile dressed as our candidate of choice.
Or, probably not. BUT, this deeper form of democracy will only spread throughout the mediascape as consumers come to expect the ability to participate.
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