Justin Bieber, Prince of Twitter, arrives in South Africa

Justin Bieber has arrived in South Africa on holiday. He tweeted just before his flight from New York’s John F Kennedy Airport: “Wow. I am so tired. Good thing this flight is going on a 30 hours. That’s right I’m going to be the youngest person to go to the moon.” While we baulk at this sort of celeb-spotting fluff, we are however interested in the fact that Bieber is a Twitter phenomenon.

The 16-year-old, oft-parodied, boy-singer is currently the Princess of Twitter, but it’s only a matter of days before he becomes the new King.

Earlier this month Dustin Curtis, a web designer and blogger, interviewed a Twitter employee who stated that: “At any moment, Justin Bieber uses 3% of our infrastructure. Racks of servers are dedicated to him.” This doesn’t mean that Bieber is a Twitter-fiend, bashing out gigabytes of tweets, but rather refers to his legion of adoring fans and the amount of tweets and retweets about the Canadian teen hearthrob.

When Mashable contacted Twitter to corroborate these stats, the official response came back as: “While we don’t break out metrics like this, everything around and about Justin Bieber is consistently popular on Twitter,” which is worthy of any diplomatic response.

Curtis went on further to state that Bieber’s account receives more than 60 @-replies per second for a while after he tweets to his 5,38 million followers.

Bieber currently sits in 3rd position for most popular male personality behind long-standing Twitter King Ashton Kutcher (5.82 million followers as of 23 September 2010), and only just behind Barack Obama (5.48 million followers).

However, TwitterCounter.com predicts that Bieber will soon oust both of them as he will reach 6-million followers in approximately two weeks time, at about the same time as Ashton Kutcher does. Bieber’s growth rate is however explosive in comparison, averaging a massive 58,000 followers gained per day, as opposed to Kutcher’s 7,222 and Obama’s 6,254.

24-year-old Lady Gaga is the most popular celebrity on Twitter, having deposed Britney Spears last month. Gaga is the only celebrity to have blown through the 6 million mark and is sitting at around 6.5 million followers.

With a combined age of 40, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are respectively the King and Queen of Twitter.

We’ll leave you to ponder the psycho-social repercussions of this fact.



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