The @JustinBieber Teenybopper Army Marches To 9 Million, Catching @LadyGaga In Race To The Big Ten

Justin Bieber’s rise on Twitter is pretty remarkable. In just over two years, he’s leveraged the network to build a profile that has taken him from a complete unknown to arguably the most famous teenager in the world, and certainly the US.

However, in the wide, wide world of celebrity, Bieber is still a little short of the megastardom that the likes of Beyoncé Knowles, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Rihanna enjoy, and none of these can hold a candle to the column-inch all-consuming powerhouse that is Lady Gaga.

Except, that is, on Twitter, where Bieber and his teenybopper army owns every single one of them except for Gaga herself… and they’re closing in on her fast.

About 5 hours ago, Bieber’s follower count moved above the 9 million mark. He’s the second person on Twitter to do this behind Gaga, but it took her a year longer to reach that point. Bieber’s done it in about 25 months, and he celebrated in his usual style.

As I wrote last month, Bieber has been rapidly closing the gap on Gaga in 2011. He’s adding followers at the rate of about 25,000 per day, and according to TwitterCounter should reach the 10 million mark in about 40 days – approximately June 1, 2011. Gaga, meanwhile, is adding about 15,000 per day, and is on course for 10 million in about 32-33 days, or roughly May 23-24. It’s gonna be close.

Much like being the first person to pass the 1 million follower point on Twitter, getting to 10 million before anybody else does come with bragging rights. In the bigger picture, of course it doesn’t really matter, but it will be be remarked upon and analysed, and that tipping point will inevitably lead to a greater influx of people, both to the victor and Twitter itself. So it that respect it matters a great deal, as it’s a win for the platform as much as any one individual.

Still, let’s not forget that as big a number as 10 million followers might be, holding that up against Twitter’s estimated 220 million users means that a heady 95% of the network either doesn’t care, doesn’t know – or doesn’t care to know – who the hell you are.