Twitter is a place where the world’s biggest music stars can command huge influence – not least when they want to point millions of fans in the direction of their new single on iTunes.
Music artists are reportedly the most popular figures on the worldwide social network, with Katy Perry boasting the biggest number of followers of anyone.
Perry’s follower count clocks in at more than 64m, closely followed by Justin Bieber on 60m – the world’s second most-followed Twitterer.
Barack Obama is third with more than 54m, but he’s followed by another musician at No.4: Taylor Swift, with more than 51m followers.
Rounding out the musician’s Top 5 is Lady Gaga with 44m followers, ahead of Rihanna, with 41m.
But as we all know, not every Twitter follower is all they first appear: fake accounts are everywhere on the service, and seem particularly attracted to music megastars.
It’s not for us to ponder about who may or may not have deliberately added hordes of fake Twitter followers to inflate their count.
But with new research from Twitter follower analysis tool TwitterAudit.com – commissioned by MBW – we can at least get a picture of how many of these superstars’ digital acolytes are (and aren’t) living, breathing fans.
Here’s how Twitteraudit does its business, in its own words:
Each audit takes a random sample of 5,000 Twitter followers for a user and calculates a score for each follower. This score is based on number of tweets, date of the last tweet, and ratio of followers to friends.
We use these scores to determine whether any given user is real or fake. Of course, this scoring method is not perfect but it is a good way to tell if someone with lots of followers is likely to have increased their follower count by inorganic, fraudulent, or dishonest means.
So there you have it. Not perfect, but a good rough guide as to who’s genuine… and who’s faking it.