Justin Bieber now has more Twitter fans than Canada has people, with the pop star’s followers having just rolled over 35 million.
Though formidable, the achievement almost seemed inevitable. An icon born of the Internet – he was discovered on YouTube in 2008 – the Canadian teenager has come to dominate nearly every corner of the online water cooler.
In January, Bieber toppled Lady Gaga to become the most-followed person on Twitter, a site whose social media popularity is second only to Facebook. And he’s only gained momentum since: To wit, the singer amassed more than 8,900 new followers in just four hours early Monday, climbing from 34,991,028 to reach 35,000,005 at 12:52 p.m. (Eastern Time).
By contrast, Canada is estimated to have hit 35 million in late 2012, 145 years after Confederation.
“He used digital and social to become known, so it’s built into his DNA,” said William J. Ward, a social media professor at Syracuse University. “I’d like to see marketers take a lesson from him, treating (that technology) in a more integrated way rather than as a separate silo.”
Bieber’s official website allows users to sign in with the social network of their choice. He remains in near constant contact with his audience, whether posting personal and professional updates, retweeting fans, sharing photos or releasing new music. No effort is too small for its own online hashtag.
Anabel Quan-Haase, an associate professor of information and media studies at Western University, says the sum result is a fan base that functions more like a community.
“There’s not a lot of heavy content. It’s all about the building of sociability,” said Quan-Haase, adding that this online connectivity often translates into offline action. “People listen to him. People trust him. People believe in him. He’s someone who can really make things happen.”
Though a common criticism of Twitter is that many followers are “bots” or spammers, a glance at Bieber’s Facebook presence suggests he could indeed populate his own country – and then some – with genuine fans: 51.6 million users on that site have Liked the singer’s official page.
Earlier this month, Bieber became the youngest artist ever to land five No. 1 albums. In 2012, Forbes named him the third most powerful celebrity in the world. And he’s a burgeoning venture capitalist, with stakes in a variety of tech start-ups.
It’s no wonder Google’s Aaron Brindle says the pop star has become the most-searched Canadian in the search engine’s history.
“For the entertainment industry, Bieber’s meteoric rise validated an entirely new business model, where the barriers to entry were levelled like never before,” said Brindle. “Justin Bieber showed the world you could become a household name if you had a webcam, talent and, let’s face it, some great hair.”
Google’s Belieb It Or Not
* In Nunavut, searches for Justin Bieber outpace the rest of Canada by 2:1. Brindle suggests this may because “more than a third of Nunavut is under 15 years of age – a demographic that serves as a core constituency for Beliebers.”
* Bieber is truly global. In fact, Canada doesn’t even rank in the Top 10 countries searching for the singer online.
* On YouTube, where Bieber’s career launched, Brindle says the singer is “a total powerhouse.” ‘Baby’ is the second most popular video of all time, with over 830 million views (Gangnam Style is the only video with more views), while Bieber’s official channel is the site’s most popular, with just shy of three-and-a-half billion views.
Source: O Canada
Category: Justin Updates