Yesterday Charlie Sheen created a new account on Twitter (@CharlieSheen). As of now, he is closing in on attracting 1 million followers within 24 hours (and 13 Tweet)—very likely a new speed record others will endeavour to break. This is much, much shorter than the time it took other big-named celebrity took to achieve this:
- Last May, it took Oprah Winfrey took just under 30 days (and 41 Tweets) and to reach 1 million followers
- Last April, it took Ashton Kutcher (the first person who achieved 1 million Followers) over 48 hours—in a publicised race against CNN—to add 110,000 Followers to break 1 million
Does this mean anything? Or is it just another crazy social media statistic?
What this means to Twitter
While I love ‘Two and a Half Men,” I must insist that few would argue that Mr. Sheen has 30x the star power of Ms. Winfrey. Something else is going on here: Twitter is now in the mainstream. It is no longer an odd technology for Early Adopters; it is now something for everyone. This is really good for Twitter. It positions it as mainstream channel—something useful for negotiating advertising and brand development deals (and building even more valuation).
What this means to Mr. Sheen
This is a big demonstration of star power—and negotiating power—that is easily measurable. One of the breakthroughs of social media is that it provides a means to measure interest numerically—and at speeds never before imagined. Mr. Sheen is taking advantage, at a time when it can provide much leverage.
What this means for ‘Big Brands’
This provides a simple message to big, established brands: Twitter is an established channel to reach out to and communicate with everyday customers. If you are not on Twitter, it is time to join. (Hopefully, your brand has not already been hijacked).
What this means for small brands
Twitter still remains a place where smaller brands and non-celebrities can have a large voice. However, this is not as true as it used to be (even one year ago, let alone two of three). Everyone is going to have to work harder, and share more interesting insights more frequently, to stand out.
It will be interesting to see what Mr Sheen does as he breaks through 1 million Followers. It may be more enlightening to see what he does later, during May sweeps and next season’s renewal review period.
For interest: Accounts on Twitter with the most followers.