Couples who kiss each other in the first minutes of the first episode sometimes stay together for many episodes before the scriptwriter splits them up.
Moreover, previously taboo themes such as urban violence, racism, and homosexuality were later incorporated into telenovelas.
Similar genres around the world include teleserye (Philippines), téléroman (Canada, specifically Quebec), or simply dramas (Asia and the rest of the Arab World).
By the 1970s and 1980s Mexico became a world pioneer in using telenovelas to shape behavior, particularly successfully in introducing the idea of family planning.
Telenovelas are widely popular in Latin America and Iberian countries including Brazil, Spain, and Portugal, and in Hispanic speaking communities in the United States.
They also have a huge following in Russia, Eastern Europe, France, Greece, Italy, the Philippines, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, China and Japan.
Several youth telenovelas have become hits in other countries, where they have been remade or shown in their original Argentine versions.
Some well known youth telenovelas are Chiquititas ("Little Angels"), Rebelde Way ("Rebel's Way"), Floricienta, Muñeca Brava ("Brave Doll"), Violetta and Patito Feo ("Ugly Duckling").