I hope everybody had a great Christmas!
Personally, I was too busy the last two days being filled with holiday spirit, enjoying my time with family and renewing my zest for life to actually take the time to sit down and blog. Ah, screw it, I actually just lied in bed all day and watched Avatar.
But of course, Justin Bieber just couldn’t do that.
Before we go any further, I must remind you all of another story involving Twitter that occurred earlier this week with Justine Sacco. You can all refer to my last blog to refresh your memory. Or just stop reading now and do something more productive with your time.
Anyway, Sacco showed us exactly what it takes for a relatively obscure person to gain national attention through Twitter — Tweet something extremely racist. And in the end, she was Sacco’d from her job. You really should have listened to me when I said to stop reading.
Justin Bieber, meanwhile, showed that he can pretty much Tweet anything and gain international attention.
Before we begin, let’s examine where exactly Justin Bieber lies in the grand scheme of the Twitterverse. According to Twittercounter.com, also known as the first site that popped up when I searched Google, here are the top five most followed users:
- Katy Perry: 48.8 million
- Justin Bieber: 48 million
- Lady Gaga: 40.9 million
- Barack Obama: 40.7 million
- Taylor Swift: 37.8 million
For reference, Perry and Bieber’s 48+ million followers represents more people than there are in 170 countries. Their Twitter followers surpasses the total number of people in Australia and Taiwan combined.
So when they Tweet, people will see it.
And, as most of you may have heard, Justin Bieber celebrated Christmas Eve by Tweeting his retirement. Or, in his words, “My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring.”
Now I’m not even here to question the authenticity of his alleged retirement. Because, quite frankly, I don’t care. Justin Bieber can put out zero albums or 25 albums for the remainder of his existence, and it wouldn’t affect my life in any way. In reality, however, the timing of it gives me the impression that it’s a publicity stunt — his documentary “Believe” hit the theaters one day later.
But anyway, what fascinates me more is the power that he possesses on Twitter.
When Barack Obama stands at a podium and delivers a speech, it’s usually well documented. The New York Times and The Washington Post will have their reporters there, and they’ll put something on their websites for whoever is interested, which usually isn’t too many people. Or at least not as much as their should be.
But when Bieber tweets, the world physically shakes.
I was getting ready for work this morning when I overheard the morning news in the other room, and the newscasters were actually discussing this. For all we all know, Bieber was lying in his bed on his pajamas, possibly baked out of his mind, and decided to stir things up when he wrote this. And he made the morning news.
If I were him, I’d see how far I can go. If he Tweeted “yo beliebers, the sky is green,” I’m not saying it would make national news, but I think, at the very least, a few thousand people would go outside and check.
According to USA Today, 20.6 million people watched Obama’s inauguration this year. In 2009, 37.8 million watched. That’s still not even close to how many people Bieber reaches when he Tweets.
What greater display of power exists in this world than that?
And guys, Bieber only needs about 800,000 more followers to top Katy Perry. If all of my readers followed him, he could do it! Wait, there’s only three of you who read this? And you all follow him already?