The fact that this season started in the middle of a global pandemic and government lockdown order, brought a lot of first-time watchers. The show provided its audience something to bond over at a time when everyone was seeking comfort and connection.
From the moment the housemates stepped into the house, they became a subject of discourse. By the third day in the house, BBNaija conversations on social media were generating over 150,000 posts, with digital impressions of over 600 million according to data from ID Africa, a marketing, media and tech company. Some of the chart-topping housemates immediately upon entry into the house were, Nengi, Lilo, Laycon, Erica, Dorathy, Ozo and Neo. It will be interesting to note that four of these housemates – Laycon, Nengi, Neo and Dorathy – are still in the house.
According to the report from ID Africa, which measures online mentions of BBNaija and related keywords on social media, blogs and forums, the show hit its first billion mark in digital impression, on Friday, July 31st, just 13 days after its launch. It hit its next billion the next day, after the second Saturday night party. The party and all of the adult games that the housemates played afterwards drew in more viewers. It has always been a crowd-puller through different seasons of the show and this season was no different.
The show went from garnering an average of 739 million in digital impressions in its first eleven days, to doing an average of 953 million in its next eleven days.
BBNaija Lockdown hit its highest number, 1.6 billion in audience impressions, with over 380,000 posts, on Sunday, August 9, during the weekly eviction show. The eviction show saw Eric and Tochi leave Big Brother’s house. It was particularly epic because Eric’s love interest, Lilo was evicted during the previous eviction. Social media users joked that they could now reunite and continue their ‘situationship’ outside the house.
An analysis of the first four weeks in the house shows the top five most talked about housemates as Erica, Laycon, Nengi, Ozo and Lucy. Kiddwaya came close to snitching the fifth place from Lucy.
Both Laycon and Erica had 3 million posts created about them in the first four weeks in the house, Nengi recorded 2.5 million posts, Ozo 1.7 million and Lucy 1.4 million posts.
In four weeks, social media discussions and posts about the show had generated over 8 million posts from 3.8 million users, with potential media impressions of over 24 billion.
As the show entered its seventh week, the dynamic in the house changed. There were only 11 housemates left in the game, and they had become more popular. However, the most talked-about housemates remained Erica, Laycon, Nengi, Ozo and Kiddwaya, with Laycon and Erica going toe to toe for most talked about.
By the end of the seventh week, the show experienced yet another twist as Big Brother disqualified Erica for flouting his rules in the middle of a hissy fit. The outburst had been brewing all week after Ebuka asked Laycon why he told other housemates that Erica tried to kiss him twice.
On the seventh Saturday of the show, after getting drunk at the party, Erica finally loses her cool and begins to question Laycon about details of their ‘almost-kisses’. His refusal to talk about it made her angrier, and she soon started to insult him. She kept getting angry as the night went on and broke a bunch of house rules. Big Brother disqualified her the next day right before the eviction show where Lucy was sent home.
Conversations around Erica reached a record high. She generated over 890,000 posts across 788,000 users, while Laycon recorded 541,000 posts from over 480,000 users, Nengi, Ozo and Dorathy were also in the five most talked about housemates that night.
For the first three days after her disqualification, Erica was still one the most talked about housemate. She generated an average of 155,400 posts in those three days while Laycon generated an average of 149,467 posts. Ozo and Nengi were also constantly talked about in that period.
Nengi and Ozo have remained at the top of conversations because of their interesting relationship dynamic. Ozo has made it clear that he has strong feelings for Nengi and she has clarified that she just wants to be friends. Yet, they have deep chemistry and are hardly ever away from each other.
The trajectory of communications changed again at the beginning of the eighth week. Only Laycon, Ozo and Nengi were consistently on the ‘most-talked’ about list. Vee and Dorathy also generated quite a bit of conversation around them. Vee had been very vocal that she didn’t feel bad at all that Erica had been disqualified from the show. She has always been on Laycon’s side of every issue that he had with Erica. Dorathy, on the other hand, became more visible after Erica’s eviction and she has quickly become a fan-favourite.
Vee had 77,400 posts created about her by 72,000 users on Monday, September 7, 2020, when she was most talked about. It was the day after Erica was disqualified. Dorathy reached fewer people on Sunday, September 20, 2020, with only 66,600 posts created about her by 56,000 users. Vee and Dorathy are both in the finals, fighting for a chance to win the grand prize.
Going into the final week of the show, the housemates being talked about the most has also changed. There are only five housemates left in the house. Laycon is still leading the conversation by a very wide gap to other housemates. On Monday, 21, 2020, there were 144,100 posts created about Laycon by 119,000 users. Ozo ranked second for the day, according to data collated by ID Africa. He had 113,100 posts created about him by 96,000 users. His eviction at the live show the previous day surprised many who thought he would be safe that week.
Nengi and Dorathy also gathered quite a bit of impression to make it to third and fourth ‘most talked-about’ housemates of the day, respectively. Nengi was mentioned 105,500 by 87,000 users while Dora had 42,200 posts created about her by 32,000 users.
With only a few days left this season of Big Brother, and 75% of the housemates out the door, it is anyone’s game. At this critical stage in the game, with only five housemates and three days left, any misstep may cost a housemate the win.
Some housemates, like Neo and Vee, have made it this far in the game without a significant social media following or being very popular, compared to other housemates, in online conversations. Do they have what it takes to win the competition?
Some others, like Laycon, Nengi and Dorathy, have enjoyed significant social media following and fan support through the season. Does social media popularity, however, translate into votes for the housemates? Because when all is said and done, the votes are what will determine who is crowned winner at the finale.