For the first nine seasons of American Idol, viewers had to pick up their phones to call in or text their votes every week. Now, Entertainment Weekly reports, the popular talent competition is taking advantage of social media by building out a dedicated Facebook page that will allow viewers to cast their ballot up to 50 times per episode.

Here are the details: Users will be able to use their Facebook accounts to reach a dedicated Idol voting page that will include all the current contestants. Each fan will be able to vote 50 times during a telecast's voting period. Viewers will still be able to vote via text messaging and toll-free phone calls as well.

The Idol plans have been in the works for awhile, though Fox hasn't commented. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe leaked plans to introduce a form of online voting earlier this week, followed by somebody leaking plans to introduce Facebook voting for next fall's The X Factor.

Idol creator Simon Fuller has been pushing for the show to embrace online voting as part of its widespread overhaul of season 10. With Idol still dominating in the ratings and viewers embracing Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez as judges, the industry consensus seems to be that the show has managed to pull off something that many thought impossible--soldiering on successfully in the wake of Cowell's departure.

Read the full story at Entertainment Weekly.

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