One of the first things islanders are desperate to do when they leave the villa is to discover how much their social media following has grown.
In previous years, stars of the past have garnered hundreds of thousands of fans on their respective platforms, with the likes of Molly-Mae Hague and Olivia Attwood now boasting millions.
But after bosses put on a social media ban on the Love Island 2023 cast’s families representing them while they are in the villa, it has had a massive impact on their outreach.
It will come as a blow to islanders to find only three of the six finalists have over 200k followers.
Many no doubt hope to go on to forge lucrative careers as influencers and gain clothing brands, and they will have to work fast to try to build their online following once they are given back their phones.
Oh no: Islanders are desperate to discover how much their social media following has grown when they leave, but this year is low in comparison to previous due to a social media ban
Social media ban: In previous years, stars of the past have garnered hundreds of thousands of fans on their respective platform – but this hasn’t been the case with the latest batch
Series winners Sanam Harrinanan and Kai Fagan, who became the first ever Casa Amor couple to scoop the £50k cash prize, have just 123,000 and 147,000 followers on Instagram respectively.
Runner-up Lana Jenkins scores slightly better with 244k, while Samie Elishi has the most out all the finalists with 259k.
Shaq Muhammad has the lowest with less than 100,000 followers at the time of publication.
For the first time in Love Island history, the social media profiles of the Islanders remained ‘dormant’ during their time on the show.
The big change was decided by ITV producers following years of friends and family struggling to cope with the levels of trolling received as they managed their loved ones social media accounts from home.
In past series, Islanders’ teams used their accounts to encourage viewers to vote for them and build up their following – but this has led to them receiving abuse from trolls and getting into spats with other contestants’ family and friends.
ITV has been constantly evolving its duty of care protocols after season two star Sophie Gradon took her own life aged 32 in June 2018 and season three contestant Mike Thalassitis was found dead at aged in March 2019.
Former Love Island host, Caroline Flack, also took her own life at age 40 in February 2020 after struggling with her mental health.
The next series of Love Island begins in just three months time, so the cast will have to work fast if they want to maintain their online presence.
Low: Series winners Sanam and Kai, who became the first ever Casa Amor couple to scoop the £50k cash prize, have just 123,000 and 147,000 followers on Instagram respectively
Reality TV fame: Runner-up Lana Jenkins scores slightly better with 244k, while Samie Elishi has the most out all the finalists with 259k, while Shaq has the lowest
Millionaire: The numbers are a far cry from Molly-Mae’s huge profile, with the YouTuber boasting 7.4million followers after her stint in the villa in 2019
Sanam and Kai beat original couple Ron Hall and Lana to the £50k cash prize.
Tom Clare, 23, and Samie Elishi, 22, placed third in the competition, while airport security officer Shaq Muhammad, 24, and Tanya Manhenga, 22 were the first out.
After their win, Sanam told Maya, 28,: ‘I can’t believe it’, while Kai was lost for words.
She said of their romance: ‘For me, it was always Kai, like I always said he was my number one. Obviously, he is a very attractive guy but I fell in love with everything. Everything about him, I just loved it. I really didn’t think I was gonna be here. I’m going to cry.’
Like every romance on the show, Kai and Sanam have had a rough ride – after the PE teacher’s former love interest Olivia Hawkins left furious when his head was turned in Casa Amor – as was hers.
Champions: The social worker and PE teacher, who fell for one another during the Casa Amor trip were bookies’ favourites to win the winter 2023 series
But Kai’s decision to re-couple with Sanam has proven to be a worthy one as they have remained strong ever since.
In their interview, the PE teacher noted his journey on the show had been a ‘rollercoaster’ but he is looking forward to treating Sanam away from the glamour of the South African villa.
‘It’s been a rollercoaster,’ he said. ‘But literally, she blew me away. I think it’s the eyes. I always to her that it was the first conversation we had, she did the eyes. But she doesn’t do it anymore! After that first one, we just got closer and closer.
‘She doesn’t leave my side and I absolutely love her. In here, it’s amazing and you have so many people working around you, arranging the most amazing dates ever but I can’t wait to be able to put my time and effort into her and show her how amazing she is.
‘On the outside, she’s going to be my girlfriend but I want that control. I’m gonna make it so special and I have told her so many times that she is gonna be my girlfriend on the outside. So keep a look out.’
Love Island duty of care protocols in full for 2023 series
The full duty of care process is outlined below:
Pre Filming and Filming
– Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
– Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
– Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose in confidence any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the Villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
– Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
– Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
– Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
– A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
– Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
– A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
– Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
– We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.