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Big Brother 16 #Kickoff

Posted In News, Projects - By On Sunday, June 29th, 2014 With 0 Comments

The Big Brother 16 ‘kickoff’ (with its own hashtag) and premiere (also with its own hashtag) really got the ball rolling for this year’s version of the most engaging show on American TV.

A week prior to the premiere, we set up a Twitter collection machine to track off all of the current @mentions and hashtags for BB16, adding more as they were created as well as the contestant names and Twitter accounts.

Generic hashtags at this stage include: @CBSBigBrother, @BBHOH, BB16, bblf, bbmvp, BBkickoff, BBAllNighter, BigBrother, BigBrother16, bbhoh, BBselfie, BBAD, #HOH:


Tweets per minute



The graph above is a breakdown of tweets containing the generic hastags per minute over 12 hours around the Big Brother premiere night one of two.

Tweets peaked at just under 80k for the hour, with the first spike being a mass retweet of pop star and contestant’s sister, Ariana Grande:


The second (expected) peak occurred at 8:01pm, as the show began, and the largest peak was due to the hugely built up ‘twist’ reveal and another mass retweet of Ariana Grande:   Ariana Grande RT #2



Controversy, again

Houseguests were revealed only a few days prior to the premiere, probably to spark conversation as well as bump up live feed subscriptions at the last minute. As we discussed around this time last year, controversy is usually no mistake in the reality context, particularly for shows like Big Brother that rely on it. The early release of HG names sparked instant controversy with the network already being under scrutiny for choosing Frankie Grande, who already has a lot of public exposure as a YouTube personality and brother of Ariana Grande. The graph above clearly argues that controversy is the best way to cause online discussion, with both peaks being due to the casting of Frankie.


CBS has also made another bold decision in revisiting the race scandal of last year by introducing another controversial cast member who has already gained a lot of support, and hate, on Twitter:


Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 3.27.00 pm


Indeed, we can track the success of CBS’s efforts in creating controversy by looking at contestant mentions across the two nights:


Contestents Total Volume


As predicted, Frankie Grande was the most talked about HG thanks to both the controversy of his casting and the mass retweeting caused by his sister’s Twitter following. Because contestants were released into the house over two nights, a breakdown of each night is below:





In this graph, the Twitter conversation about “Frankie” almost mimics the overall Twitter conversation in the earlier graph indicating he was not only the most talked about HG but also the most talked about thing overall.





On the second night, tweet numbers mentioning contestants was comparatively a lot lower than the first night, with Caleb being featured in a maximum of 462 tweets, and Zach, 459 tweets. Other contestants were also more likely to get mentioned, although Frankie (purple line) remains relatively high despite being introduced the night before.


Sentiment in tweets

Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is the increase in what I’ll call ‘positive intention’ tweets from last year to this year. People seem to be actively suggesting that fans  be nicer to one another and the contestants this year, using the words  ‘support’, ‘love’ and even a hashtag; ‘#beNICE’. While the sentiment is evident across Twitter and Big Brother blogs now, it will be interesting to see how #beNICE fares a week or two into the show when people start to take sides.


That being said, CBS Network and BB fans have already created a number of new or, ‘running’ hashtags for fans to use to takes sides like #BBFrankie and #TeamFrankie, as well as what will likely be temporary hashtags to talk about current alliances in the house like #TeamAmerica (which we’re not tracking as it’s widely used elsewhere) and #TheCrazy8s.


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