Twitter is a numbers game for a lot of people. Specifically, many are interested in knowing who has the most followers on the network, and also how they can increase their own follow count. Having a high follow count is a misunderstood and drastically over-hyped metric, but it’s a popular water cooler topic for both the public and the mainstream media.
The top X most-followed users on Twitter gets a large amount of regular coverage – pretty much everybody who is even remotely active on the network can tap into this information and likely already knows that Lady Gaga rules the roost (although a fast-charging Justin Bieber, and his seemingly infinite army of teeny bopper fans, has her in his sites).
I see this question asked quite a lot so it warrants a post for that reason alone, but also because the answer is fairly satisfying.
The person who follows the most users on Twitter is (drum roll)… Barack Obama.
That’s right – the 44th President of the United States himself. At the time of writing Barack follows 702,496 users, and for many months after the profile started ‘he’ kept a 1:1 ratio of followers-to-following.
(Amusing enough, Obama was the first person who ever followed me on Twitter.)
The President now has about 6.8 million followers, so he (or rather, his team at Organizing For America, who run the account) abandoned that system quite a while ago. And even though I’m a firm believer in targeted following, if Obama suddenly dumped seven hundred thousand users on Twitter it would be big news, and probably not do his campaign much good. So, fair play there, although there is some evidence that they are slowly reducing their number.
Twitter’s top 10 most-following users are detailed below:
- Barack Obama (@BarackObama) – 702,496 following
- Whole Foods Market (@WholeFoods) – 573,395 following
- Yoko Ono (@yokoono) – 538,409 following
- UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) – 465,720 following
- Threadless (@threadless) – 444,315 following
- HootSuite (@HootSuite) – 427,247 following
- Britney Spears (@britneyspears) – 416,052 following
- Zappos.com CEO -Tony (@zappos) – 380,028 following
- Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) – 305,569 following
- Martin Zwilling (@StartupPro) – 304,290 following