Mega Celebrities and the Fans that Created Them
“What drives contemporary media management and media work in all the creative industries is a general shift in power away form professional content creators to users and owners.” (Deuze & Steward, 2011). With the emergence of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Linkdin, etc. – consumers are participating in branding of not only products, but also individuals. Celebrities have been turned into mega celebrities, larger than life, overnight thanks to social media by impressing fans, giving an inside view into their lives, and growing their following exponentially. Social media has ultimately become an outlet in which fans are branding celebrities.
Forbes has created a list of top “Social Networking Superstars,” and it ranks Rihanna at the top of this list. Rihanna has 59.6 million fans on Facebook and 23.8 million followers on Twitter. She encourages her fans to share and purchase her music, as well as view her videos, but most significantly she also lets her fans into her personal life by posting photos of her family and friends. Rihanna is estimated to have earned $53 million between May 2001 and May 2012.
Lady Gaga, the most followed celebrity on Twitter, landed the number two position on Forbes’ Social Networking Superstar list. She is estimated to have earned $53 million, 28 million followers on Twitter and 53 million fans on Facebook.
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