But the love they share with their fans seems to be a one sided affair. Fans are hungry for news on their favorite TV celebrities and related shows. Most of the Indian Television stars are surprisingly absent from the social media platform. Social Media platform has been utilized very effectively by their Bollywood and Hollywood counterparts. Social Media serves as a platform to bridge the gap between fans and their favorite celebrities. Bollywood biggies like Amitabh Bachchan , Priyanka Chopra enjoy a significant amount of fan following on twitter and facebook. Sports celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar are not lagging behind and are very proactive when it comes to their social media profiles.
Our Television stars are uncannily absent from this front. Just a very few stars like Karan Kundra, Kritika Kamra, Nia Sharma are the ones who are active on this platform. Karan Kundra feels that social presence helps you get closer to your fans -" I have been an entrepreneur in the web field and I understand the value of numbers. You get to know what your fans are talking about and how they feel. Also, you can get a lot of data regarding fans - From which country are they watching you the most and so on and so forth."
Most of these stars harbor a dream of creating a mark in Bollywood. The shelf life of these stars is very limited and once their show goes off air, the audience shifts the loyalty to some other show. This makes it even more pertinent for them to maintain perennial contact with their fans.
Anas Rashid feels that a lot of fans walk the dangerous path of obsession and hack the accounts - " A lot of TV actors will tell you that they have suffered at the hands of hackers. I was on Facebook but my account got hacked. After a little while I tried to revive it with the most ridiculous answers for the secret question. I was not spared and my account was hacked again. After a little while you just lose interest and carry on with the interviews and other related articles.
Fan count is certainly one yardstick for measuring the popularity of these stars. One of the reasons cited by the TV celebrities is paucity of time. There round the clock schedule leaves them with barely anytime to dedicate to their Social presence. Many of TV stars who have their official fan page on Facebook have their fans manning the page for them. Also,there are a lot of fake fan made accounts that compromise on the credibility of stars. Fans pose as the stars and their posts get multiple likes and comments.
Sanaya Irani feels that there are already plenty of platforms for television stars to communicate with their fans : "There is hardly any time. Whenever I do have time , the last thing on my mind is to log onto Facebook. We are on screen for more than a year and so many TV shows and website forums like India-Forums cover our activities. We give out interviews, news bytes and I'm not sure if fans want to know more. There is hardly any privacy for us with the humungous media coverage."
Sukirti Kandpal is currently not active on any of the platforms but does not rule out the possibility in the future - "Personally, I'm not a very tech-savvy person and I can not really get myself to get up everyday and get on to the social media. I don't believe that fans forget you post your show. There are other platforms like India-Forums, where I feel I can connect with the audience. I do not rule out the possibility of joining some social media platform in the future."
Indian Television fans are demanding and want to be in sync with the happenings in the lives of their television stars. Would you want your favorite star as your friend on your Facebook page or even as follower on your twitter handle?
Reporter and Author - Medha Parashar