The Top Tweeters of 2013

Don't you just love waking up in the morning to the cheerful sound of (your phone) tweeting? Since 2006 over 554 million of us have discovered the power of the 140-character message, and we can credit

Don't you just love waking up in the morning to the cheerful sound of (your phone) tweeting? Since 2006 over 554 million of us have discovered the power of the 140-character message, and we can credit Jack Dorsey with changing the face of social media forever. Twitter's now one of the most popular and addictive social media outlets on the Internet and the world is alive with the sound of tweets.

Anyone can create an account and in the age of internet-democracy, the most interesting, entertaining Tweeters will land the most followers. Twitter has become a powerful tool for everything from marketing and self-promotion, to activism, to the circulation of the much-maligned Selfie. Arguably the biggest draw of Twitter - and the most significant social media game-changer - is the way it's brought normally pedestal-dwelling celebrities much closer to home. Something about the 140 character confessional seems to encourage otherwise private celebs to share intimate thoughts and even private photos with the universe - or should we say, the Twitterverse. Twitter has given stars a medium for voicing their opinions away from their PR team and minders, a way to personally connect with their fan base and promote their miscellaneous projects. The ease and spontaneity of the tweet, though, and a potentially infinite audience, imbues those 140 characters with the ability to cause serious controversy. Every day, Twitter gains 135,000 new followers and has an average of 58 million tweets. Amidst the daily flurry of messages between friends, celebrities and public figures, certain democratically-selected 'trends' emerge and remarks can go viral internationally with instant retweets. Twitter has an undeniably powerful influence on our daily news landscape and so the elite top 10 tweeters among the 554 million have some serious status both in social media and in real-world terms.

Here's the round-up of the ten most popular, controversial, inspiring and sometimes surprising celebrities who made you want to click the 'follow' button this year.


11 Ashton Kutcher @aplusk : 15.2 Million Followers

Does Ashton Kutcher make the list because of his high-profile relationship and split with Demi Moore? Or his hot and heavy hook-up with Mila Kunis? Nope - it was his social conscience that made Kutcher popular this year. He sparked serious controversy this month when he got into a Twitter debate with retail giant Walmart over poverty and wages. This came after news broke that an Ohio Walmart was conducting an associate-to-associate collection bin for food so that their employees could enjoy Thanksgiving this year. Kutcher's enormous fan base got embroiled in the debate and thus began a heated tête-à-tête with Walmart supporters. Ashton Kutcher was at the epicentre of a viral spat with thousands riling against each other on the social media site. Kutcher's Twitter debate with Walmart forced followers to question where the line must be drawn when it comes to fair wages and discounts on consumer goods.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

10 Kim Kardashian @KimKardashian : 18.8 Million Followers

2013 has marked several milestones for the future Mrs. Kanye West and she she takes her spot among the top 10 tweeters with over 18 million followers, and growing. Since becoming a mother to (the uniquely named) North West, Kardashian's popularity is bigger than ever

with new followers hoping to catch a photo of the new baby or KK's latest fashion feats. The attention of new followers has been grabbed by Kim's tweeted photos of her post-baby body, and particularly a photo of her derriere via Instagram. 2013 also marked  the death of Kim's father, when she tweeted a family photo with an intimate memorial message.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

9 Oprah Winfrey, @oprah : 22.3 Million Followers

Oprah took the Twitter and media world by storm when she went on public on a number of racial issues. Oprah caused a Twitter storm after she called racism on the verdict for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. This year, too, she famously revealed that she experienced racism in Zurich from a saleswoman who refused to show her a handbag because she assumed that Oprah wouldn't buy it - implying that she couldn't afford it. The tweet made the news worldwide, and she received an apology from the Swiss tourism office.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

8 Ellen DeGeneres, @TheEllenShow: 23.8 Million Followers

With a unique mix of humour and attention to social and economic matters, Ellen DeGeneres has had a big year on Twitter. She's merged  her daytime television show with Twitter so that fans can interact on multiple platforms. What makes her so popular on the social media site? She's an undeniably funny lady - she famously tweeted on hiding and scaring her wife, Portia - and she's known for having an inspiring, positive attitude. When the Philippines was struck by a typhoon, DeGeneres tweeted her support for those affected and encouraged her followers to donate to the Red Cross.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

7 Britney Spears, @britneyspears : 34.4 Million Followers

2013 may have been the much-anticipated year of comebacks for Britney Spears. TIME Magazine has even declared her Twitter as one of the top 10 celebrity feeds. In October, she held an interactive Q&A on her Twitter account with the hashtag #AskBritneyJean.A clever move, making herself more accessible to fans and putting a personal face to the stigmatized super star. A great way to market her new album, "Britney Jean", due for release soon. She uses Twitter for more than marketing, too, posting updates about her personal life that makes her fans feel a little bit closer to the pop diva.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

6 Taylor Swift, @taylorswift13 : 37.1 Million Followers

Much like Taylor Swift's highly public relationships, her followers have intense highs and lows. Many seem to have pretty dysfunctional love/hate feelings towards her, demonstrated daily in response to the singer's seemingly trivial tweets. Recently after Swift posted a photo with Justin Timberlake at the American Music Awards - in which she was touching Justin Timberlake - '#Swifties' and haters alike caused Twitter to explode with tweets of argument and support. Taylor has inspired popular joke accounts, too, including "Feminist Taylor Swift" - tweeting lyrics to Swift's songs with a feminist spin.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

5 President Barack Obama, @BarackObama : 40.2 Million Followers

The President, sandwiched between Taylor Swift and Lady GaGa (that's a sentence I didn't expect I'd write today), has had a big year in 2013 between the disbanding of DOMA and the execution of Obamacare. The President's Twitter account has become a source of inspiration for some, but given this Tweeter's high-profile political status, heated debates and arguments are rampant among the 40.2 million followers. Some believe the White House cynically employs the President's Twitter feed as a means of shaping public and media opinion. Whatever your option, this is one of the most up-to-the-moment news sources on goings on in Washington and with over 40 million followers the influence and reach of the account is undeniable.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

4 Lady Gaga, @ladygaga : 40.7 Million Followers

Lady Gaga reigned at number one on this list for over two and a half years with the most Twitter  followers on the social media site. Even though she was dethroned, she still remains as active as ever between tweeting snippets of her daily life, her inspirations and her disappointments. Lady Gaga recently used the social media site to express her disappointment at some fans' hatred for latest album "ARTPOP". She controversially lashed out at the "haters" and even blocked unsupportive fans. She rationalised her questionable marketing tactics, saying that her music comes from the love of her fans - so receiving hate in return is unacceptable.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

3 Justin Bieber, @justinbieber : 47.3 Million Followers

Between worldwide tours, spitting on fans, visiting brothels in Brazil and making every "belieber" swoon over his every action and song, Justin Bieber held the top of the list for a while. Bieber has been known to tease his adoring fans, tweeting about his sexual adventures, and giving eager fans a tantalising glimpse of his  personal life. Recently, Bieber became the center of confusion and controversy when he tweeted about meeting the President of Mexico: But the President's office claim the meeting never happened.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

2 Katy Perry, @katyperry : 47.9 Million Followers

Katy Perry recently took swiped the top spot from Bieber.  With a new album and huge musical success this year, it looks like she's at the peak of her career. Perry credits her rise on the social media ladder to class; she doesn't use Twitter as her primary source of promotions and, unlike Ms. GaGa, she stays positive in her regular tweets for her fans and  supporters. Perry's secured the number one spot through musical talent and keeping the controversy to a minimum.

Most Popular Tweet of 2013

1 BONUS ROUND Most Controversial Tweeter of the Year: Dr. Phil, @DrPhiL

Everyone's favourite tough love therapist, Dr. Phil, tops the list as the most controversial tweeter of 2013 after tweeting the question, "If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no..."

The tweet was removed after receiving much backlash and Dr. Phil's representative made a statement that the tweet was meant to promote discussion for an upcoming show, and was not meant to be interpreted as making light of rape. Dr. Phil issued an apology, but a petition later turned up asking Dr. Phil to do a show on rape survivors and victims of sexual assault.

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The Top Tweeters of 2013