Twitter, both as a platform and business, owes a lot to the world of celebrity.
Back in early 2009, Twitter wasn’t the hotbed of megastar action that millions of people around the world know and love today. It had some celebrities, sure, but was dominated by the more cerebrally famous – folks like Stephen Fry, Wil Wheaton and Neil Gaiman. These early trailblazers spread the good word, paving the way for brighter (but perhaps less nourishing) luminaries such as Britney Spears, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian. All of a sudden, and if by magic, Twitter was everywhere, and used by everyone. Now, in the heady days of 2012, it’s unusual for a major celebrity not to be active on Twitter.
Celebrity couples, too, have taken to the network in droves. Which is all well and good when they’re happy and in love – double the audience means double the promotional opportunity, after all – but what happens when they breakup?
Well, Twitter happens – and it’s very public, very intense and very dramatic. No more waiting for a few million people to read about the split in tomorrow’s newspapers. Now almost half a billion users can access this information in real time, as it happens, and react accordingly.
The Daily Dot, working with Topsy for an ABC News special, looked at five recent celebrity breakups, ranking the splits by the volume of tweets mentioning the celebrities’ names. And the winners? Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s post-Christmas divorce revelation, which triggered a Twitter response of over two million mentions.