Celebrities Embrace Twitter (and vice-versa)

When I pondered the future of micro-blogging last June, I wasn’t paying much attention to the few celebrities from pop culture and politics using Twitter. Over the last month, the number of celebrities (from pop culture, sports, and politics) who have appeared on the Twitterholic Top 100 jumped from 7% to 46% of users on a given calendar week.

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I included users who cover celebrity culture (e.g. @perezhilton) and fake celebrities (e.g. @NotHenryRollins). Given that I quickly perused the list of users, it’s possible that the number of celebrities is slightly higher. TV, Music, and Film celebrities alone accounted for 30% of users on the Twitterholic 100 over the past week.

As to the reasons why celebrities are starting to dominate rankings based on number of followers, the one noteworthy event occurred in mid-January when Twitter began suggesting users to newbies. However, the suggested users feature is not the sole reason for the rise of celebrities: not all of the new celebrity users on the Twitterholic Top 100 have appeared on Twitter’s list of suggested users. In choosing who to follow, I suspect that name recognition matters more to recent groups of new users.

We pointed out in our Micro-messaging report that number of followers is not the best gauge of a twitterer’s influence and we proposed an alternate metric similar to PageRank. But among new users, number of followers is the way they gauge the importance of other twitterers, and by that measure newbies may have the mistaken impression that discussions in Twitter are dominated by famous people. As they soon discover, most celebrities won’t be responding to their tweets.

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  • http://www.get-sorted.net/ Catherine Cantieri, Sorted

    Celebrities won’t respond to my tweets? The hell you say! LeVar Burton and I are going to be BFFs, I just know it!

    Cool analysis. Thanks for this post.

  • http://iamghostblogger.com/blog/ghost-blogger-reveals-all-the-secrets-of-a-successful-virtua.html Brad Williamson

    Twitter is the lazy celeb’s way to building a prominent virtual identity. It makes me skin crawl to hear so much about how Twitter is an essential tool for public figures to use to connect with their audience. It’s so one-dimensional and lacks zero intimacy between fans and celebs.

  • http://LeanConnections.com Adam Zak

    So you’re telling me that it wasn’t really, really Madonna who responded to my tweet?

    http://twitter.com/LeanThinker

  • bowerbird

    my goodness, don’t we have anything better to talk about?

    what happened to tim’s command to do _important_ stuff?

    -bowerbird

  • Truth

    I think calling these people Celebrities is a misnomer. It also skews our perception of real human value. Who are they ? Why are they more interesting than the people we know and love? Or, et’s say really INTERESTING people??

    Of course they have now come to Tiwtter because they can suck more of our attention time and money!

  • http://widetrends.com widetrends

    people, most likely fans likes to see their favorite celebrity posting whats happening to them. This is I think the reason wht this celebrities joined twitter. I have seen this celebrities get instant promotion and getting popular in a day or two..or maybe a week just because of a twitter post they made. This is a good promotional tool to them i think and they are maximizing the use of it.

  • http://thetwittersecret.com/ Sweton T Fleming

    yup buddy…great knowledge you have shared with us….really creative and innovative thoughts u have said……… …..

  • James

    There’s a website that lists all the celebrities on Twitter: http://www.twitle.com

  • http://blog.vizzmedia.com Vizz Media

    Great data worth reflecting on. Keep posting good content.