Remember when Lady Gaga was Twitter’s most popular user?
And then Katy Perry. And then Barack Obama. And soon, YouTube and Taylor Swift. Because while these folks and pretty much everybody else in the upper echelons of Twitter’s top users adds new followers each and every month, Gaga’s tally is actually going down, and has been since January.
On January 5th, 2014, @LadyGaga had 41,058,313 followers on Twitter. Fast-forward to today, February 19th, and she has 41,036,014, a net loss of 22,299 people.
Now, in the world of Twitter 22K is a pretty small blip, but what’s odd about Gaga’s situation is nobody else in Twitter’s top 10 has lost followers over this period. Katy Perry has gained 1.41 million. Bieber has gained 1.36 million. Obama 709K. And YouTube, Twitter’s most popular brand and fifth-placed account overall, has gained 1.58 million.
Here’s some charts:
As you can see, they all show the same uptrend. So what’s going on with Gaga?
Well, she’s certainly stopped tweeting as much. Back on November 26th Gaga blurted out 51 tweets, and she consistently had double-digit tweet days through December 10th of last year. Since then, she’s posted more than four tweets in a single day on just three occasions, and didn’t tweet at all between February 8th and February 16th.
So there’s that. Also, being decidedly frank, Lady Gaga today is not the Lady Gaga of one or two years ago, both in terms of stardom and musical clout. She’s lost something, whatever it was that she had before. Her last major album, Artpop, has sold a fraction of 2011’s Born This Way, which also sold a fraction of 2008’s The Fame. So, her rise and stagnation on Twitter has quite acutely matched her rise and stagnation in the “real world”, too.
Not to say Twitter isn’t real. And if you’ve been watching closely, the clues have been there for some time that Gaga was in trouble on Twitter and was going to lose her grip on the crown and, accordingly, her career. And the same thing was true for Bieber: his slip on Twitter was closely followed by a series of increasingly ridiculous shenanigans in his offline life, too.
Which leads me to make a somewhat bold suggestion: is Twitter, and social media as a whole, establishing itself as a barometer for events to come? I worked for many years as a technical analyst and there’s something about Twitter’s ability to predict future events that rings true to me. It isn’t, of course, as simple as tracking a person’s followers, but it’s certainly indicative that something is amiss when a once rapid ascent on Twitter suddenly stalls. Perhaps a bit like when the high-climbing moving average of a stock market price suddenly flatlines and then begins to dip: at the very least, it demands your attention, providing what could transpire to be an early clue that something has changed.
And for Gaga, this is very true: something definitely has changed. The question now is whether it’s changed for good, and perhaps if she returns to form on Twitter that’ll provide an insight that everything else is about to fall back into place, too.