Interesting Trends In Celebrity Twitter Accounts

I was interested tonight in a tweet by @TheEllenShow trying to push to 500,000 followers on twitter.

Wow, half a million.  Really impressive.

But wait.  The account has only been active since August of 2008.  Roughly, that is adding 2000 people a day.

So I poked around a bit.  Interesting findings.

As a note, my friend iJustine‘s video on YouTube to try to get on the Ellen show has 400,000 views.

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  • Interesting detective work. I don't really like how twitter is becoming this outlet for advertising and media, I feel like its much better for simply connecting with friends or interesting people, not seeing what the latest Borders deal is or getting reminded to watch a tv show.

  • Interesting discovery about the generic-icon spam network. If people are creating bots on a mass scale, they're not cheating or fooling anyone but themselves. A Twitter account is only as good and the love + trust that your followers have for you.

    p.s.
    Cool video format! What program did you do it with?

  • Nice sleuth work Andrew! I wish we had more insight into how much of Twitter's recent growth (which has been amazing) are users who follow <30 people and have <5 followers. I think the number of these users would be very tell-tale in the real growth of Twitter. I do think Twitter has hit the mainstream now, which I think is great, but I'd like to know more about the numbers.

    In response to Zac and Brett, I agree in that I dont like how commercial Twitter has become however, I think its a great use for some companies and their loyal customers. One of the best uses of Twitter is by @HapaSushi here in Boulder. They do a great job of being relevant, funny and also providing reasons for followers to visit their restaurant. That is a great use of Twitter – providing value to both the commercial entity and the user. Unfortuantely, these “value-add” uses by corporations/companies seem to not be the norm. I cant wait until all my friends are on Twitter (most are slow tech adopters) because I trust them and care to learn their thoughts and what they are doing. So, Brett, I am in agreement that Twitter is only as good as the love and trust that followers have for you AND you have for them.

  • Twitter already looks like so many things to different users. Your experiments show that new Twitter users will see something completely different again. These new folk are touching a different part of the elephant….

    I started using Twitter last fall; I realized quickly that understanding the structure would take a while. Ultimately, your community will teach you what you need to know. That's the real unfortunate thing: the default community these folks have is decidedly useless for learning how Twitter actually works. How will they learn the true structure of community that's possible with this medium, and how will they be able to provide support to new members?

    On the other hand, there seems to be little concern if people are “using the internet” properly. This will all sort itself out.

    Andrew, it really looks you're asking how communities can scale on the Internet. I don't know, but it's clear that things like meetups, Ignites, etc. are a crucial part of the mix. Whether or not these newbies will be inspired with their experience of the elephant remains to be seen.

  • Hehe, dude, I don't know about any 'sleuth work' here. The people you randomly selected were likely within half an hour of joining twitter and I think these celebrity accounts are perfect for the mainstream users.

    Anyway, I randomly stopped your video at 0:52 and found breezesdancing who has fully 'joined' now and twittering: http://twitter.com/breezesdancing

    I'm sure we could go find many others that followed these individuals, saw value, and stuck around. Cheers!

  • Great video, interesting thoughts. Shows more of a need for some sort of Twitter authority ranking.

  • I think it's definitely helping some users.. because when people would first join, there was nothing in their feed and they were left to fend for themselves as to how to find people to follow, etc. Granted, I know their suggested users list is still early and I believe in the future it'll be more automated.

    I know I spend a lot of time replying to questions new people have via DM as a result of being on the list. It's hard though, because I'm not going to follow everyone who adds me, but if they start a good conversation, I will.

    As a side note, Ellen still won't have me on her show. Perhaps I should tweet her again? I'm sure she'll (aka her team of twitterers) see it with her 500,000 followers.

  • NULL

    If the number are such a ranking, would love to see some variations of how they represent what is supposed to be meaningful.

  • NULL

    If the number are such a ranking, would love to see some variations of how they represent what is supposed to be meaningful.

  • andrewhyde

    I agree that it is helping some users.

    What really puzzles me is the uniform fashion of the users following. No numbers, hyphens, etc. Following 20. No picture.

    Did they ask you to be on the list? It is sure a funny a great group.

    Ellen should have you on the show! How did 400k views happen?

  • andrewhyde

    It still seems odd. None of the users had numbers, hyphens or really anything of note. Don't know if this is a mainstream trait. Also, when first joining, none of them looked up their friends? Just seems odd.

  • andrewhyde

    A fun thing to think about, what will the service look like in a year.

  • andrewhyde

    I think the best piece of advertising was the FaceBook “Wopper Massacre”

    Would be funny if that happened on Twitter.

  • andrewhyde

    I used “Screenium” which I like.

    Think they are bots? I am not sure at this point.

  • andrewhyde

    I would be fine if they were using the service, it seems like they are joining, following a few and then doing nothing.

    In droves. Looks like bot behavior to me, but just smells odd.

  • Nice shirt =). Does twitter let you find your friends by email address? That would make sense right off the bat. Odds are most people joining have at least one friend on there.

  • That's the point: the way the game is set up, they don't have any example of how to behave.

    Perhaps they're all waiting to become celebrities.

  • Well then call me the puzzle master:

    – Would you pick a user account with numbers and hyphens on a social site? No, we usually pick 'cooldude' or 'firstnamelastname' or 'childhoodnickname' if its available, right?
    – 20 is the default 'seed' as seen at 03:05 in your video
    – Nobody has a picture since they just signed up, again, your examples were probably less than 30m old. I immediately create a Facebook account and don't yet have a picture, right?

  • Awesome dectective work.

    I think alot of companies are stuck in their ways when it comes to advertising, they assume that reaching as many people as possible and hoping a few will turn into sales is the best option (when it isnt) and the best way to attract people to your page is to look like you have alot of followers.

    This is also why they dont follow people because their trying to establish the audience and producer dynamic which unfortunatly for old media is dead.

    Basically their trying to do mass media on the internet which doesnt work.

    (I noticed that quite a few people on that list were old media like the times).

  • Awesome dectective work.

    I think alot of companies are stuck in their ways when it comes to advertising, they assume that reaching as many people as possible and hoping a few will turn into sales is the best option (when it isnt) and the best way to attract people to your page is to look like you have alot of followers.

    This is also why they dont follow people because their trying to establish the audience and producer dynamic which unfortunatly for old media is dead.

    Basically their trying to do mass media on the internet which doesnt work.

    (I noticed that quite a few people on that list were old media like the times).

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