Courtney Act won over Twitter before winning Celebrity Big Brother 2018

Aligning with the 100 year anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, 2018’s first instalment of Celebrity Big Brother launched with an all-female house to mark the centenary. Driven by colourful characters, housemate dramas, surprise proposals and enlightening debates, social engagement around CBB totalled at 856.6K Tweets. The reality giant maintained consistent engagement across the series run, with daily activity never dipping below 11.7K Tweets. 

The first and final episodes prompted high levels of engagement

The final, launch episode and the moment when male housemates were introduced drove 24-7 activity around the show far above the series average. Unusually, when ranking by Impressions the order of these three episodes flipped – with Tweets posted on the 5th Jan, about the new housemates, appearing on more Twitter feeds. 52.9K Tweets were posted during broadcasts on the 2nd February, with the episode achieving a phenomenal engagement rate of 9.6 Unique Authors per thousand viewers. 2018 winner Courtney Act was directly mentioned in 26.5K of these Tweets, but had dominated Twitter activity leading up to the final too.

Spikes of Positive Sentiment Were Consistently Linked to Courtney Act

On the 10th and 14th January, positive sentiment spikes stemmed from comments surrounding the ‘flirtationship’ between Courtney and Andrew, along with praise surrounding the patience and clarity with which Shane explained different approaches to gender fluidity and LGBTQ issues. Continuing from this, as the competition approached the final, and fewer housemates remained, Twitter activity began to focus on this surprisingly educational element from the series. As a result, positive sentiment rose daily towards the end of the series, with ‘CourtneyAct’, ‘Shane’ and ‘Courtney’ the most used phrases in positive Tweets from the 29th January onwards. Positive Tweet levels reached their zenith during the final, where a staggering 45% of all Tweets posted about the show contained only Positive Sentiment.

Despite the majority of episodes sparking more positive than negative tweets, three distinct points disrupt this trend. On the 8th and 21st January purely negative Tweets accounted for over 24% of all Twitter activity around CBB, driven by mentions of India Willoughby, discussions surrounding Ann Widdecombe and Ashley James, and also reactions to John Barnes’ comments on Courtney Act. 

The day with the biggest spike in Negative Twitter activity was the 25th January, with many twitter users shocked at how Andrew Brady spoke about Ann Widdecombe. However, a notable amount of negative Tweets also came from comments arguing that she had been more insulting.

Twitter activity increased from the previous series of CBB  

Compared to August’s CBB in 2017, which saw Sarah Harding from Girl’s Aloud crowned victorious, the most recent run received 23.7% more Tweets. Looking at the sentiment and 24-7 totals together, it seems that the days where negative sentiment were highest were also some of the highest points of activity (excluding the launch and final). This is in-keeping with trends that suggest emotionally invested Twitter users are more likely to post. 

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