Twitter accounts with the most followers worldwide as of March 2014 (in millions)

  Number of followers (in millions)
@katyperry 51.83
@justinbieber 50.21
@barackobama 41.85
@ladygaga 41.08
@YouTube 40.72
@taylorswift13 39.51
@britneyspears 36.53
@rihanna 34.53
@jtimberlake 31.14
@instagram 31.14
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This statistic presents a ranking of the most popular Twitter accounts as of March 2014, sorted by the highest numbers of followers. During that month, singer Katy Perry's account @katyperry had 51.83 million followers. In comparison, US President Barack Obama's account was followed by 41.85 million people.

Celebrities and Twitter

Founded in 2006, Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that allows users to post text-based status updates and messages of up to 140 characters in length. These messages are known as tweets. As of 2013, Twitter had more than 200 million monthly active users.

In order to establish authenticity of identity on Twitter, accounts of people from high-interest areas such as music, fashion, entertainment, politics, media, business or other areas as well as individuals at high risk of impersonation are verified by Twitter. The verification badge symbolizes that the account is maintained by a legitimate source.

Twitter provides a near-instant access channel to celebrities. The majority of the top ten most-followed Twitter accounts are entertainers who use the medium to communicate with fans, spread relevant news regarding their work or work on their public image. The near-instant gratification through a stream of direct updates from celebrities or personalities as well as the feeling of belonging to a particular group of fans is a popular reason for social media users to use Twitter.

Major sporting events and industry award shows such as the Grammy or Academy Awards generate lots of online buzz on Twitter. The online discussion allows users to participate in the success of celebrities who often post behind-the-scenes photo tweets or commentaries. On-set or in-concert tweets are further methods of celebrities enhancing their appeal, and level of fan interaction.

Currently, Justin Bieber is the most-followed person on Twitter with more than 42 million followers. The most re-tweeted message was posted by US President Barack Obama’s account after winning the 2012 election – it generated almost 800,000 retweets.

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