Lady Gaga gets 10 million monsters on Twitter

Ronny Kerr · May 16, 2011 · Short URL:

The pop musician uses social media like a star with a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Zynga

Pop music diva Lady Gaga is the first to ever reach 10 million followers on Twitter, as confirmed by the Lady’s account and by the official Twitter team. Gaga showed her appreciation with a love-filled tweet over the weekend directed right at her followers (“monsters,” in Gaga-speak).

Since 2009, when Twitter says Ashton Kutcher and CNN were racing to a million followers, things have changed quite a bit. Trailing Gaga most closely is teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, with 9.6 million followers. Filling out the rest of the top five are Barack Obama (8.0 million), Britney Spears (7.8 million) and Kim Kardashian (7.4 million).

(Ranking is based on data from Twitaholic.)

Meanwhile, Ashton Kutcher and CNN Breaking News have fallen a bit behind, with 6.7 million (ranked seventh) and 2.1 million followers (ranked 20th), respectively.


Twitter isn’t the only place where Lady Gaga is strutting her social media stuff.

While this latest milestone is demonstrative of the microblogging site’s steady growth, it has also served to further illustrate the divide between Twitter and Facebook, still seen as two of the most popular social media sites on the Web. While Gaga has only just reached 10 million followers on Twitter, she’s already been liked over 34 million times on Facebook.

Also on the Facebook platform, Zynga announced last week that it has partnered with the star to create GagaVille, a neighboring farm to FarmVille populated with unicorns, crystals and other typical monster-fare. When GagaVille launches tomorrow, May 17, visitors to the farm will be treated with a sneak peek into unreleased songs from Born This Way, the new Gaga album landing on May 23.

Additionally, if you buy a $25 Zynga game card at Best Buy this week, you can download the new album for free.

As a tie-in with another Zynga game, Words With Friends, Lady Gaga has launched a “Words With Gaga” contest. Every day, her Facebook page will publish a new “Gaga word of the day.” When a user playing the game plays that word, he or she will be automatically entered in a contest for Gaga concert tickets and a signed copy of Born This Way.

Finally, RewardVille is now featuring limited edition Lady Gaga virtual goods.

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.