For fans of movie and television stars, musicians, and professional athletes, the latest way to keep up and connect with their favorite celebrities is on Twitter. Stars like Lady Gaga (@ladygaga), Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk), Britney Spears (@britneyspears), and Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) have taken to the twitosphere, allowing them to communicate with fans like never before. And the fans are responding. Lady Gaga, for example, has more than 7.7 million people following her Twitter account, which is reportedly the largest number of followers for any celebrity Twitter account.
Twitter, for anyone who doesn’t already know, is a free social media, microblogging service. Users send and receive messages – or tweets – that can be no longer than 140 characters. Celebrities on Twitter use it for everything from promoting their latest work or product, helping to raise money for charity, and communicating about their daily lives. No matter what the message, it gives fans new, different, and unexpected glimpses into the lives of the celebrities they love – and love to hate. Websites like CelebrityTweet and Celebwitter even exist to aggregate all of the messages from celebrities on Twitter.
Although Twitter is a great way for celebrities to stay connected to their fans, the instantaneous nature of Twitter has caused problems for some of the celebrities using it – especially when tweets are sent without enough forethought. The NFL has even created rules around when players and coaches can and can not tweet. More recently, singer Courtney Love was sued for defamation of character over claims that comments Love tweeted last year damaged the reputation and career of fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir. It’s the first high-profile defamation case based on a celebrity’s remarks on Twitter.
Sometimes it’s not even the actual celebrities on Twitter. They may hire someone to manage the account or worse yet, an unauthorized imposter is doing it under their name. The latter has happened to Tina Fey, Shaquille O’Neal (@the_real_shaq), and others.
Even with those downsides, celebrities continue to embrace Twitter and the new, different connection it allows them to have with their fans. And the fans are responding, relishing the opportunity to get even more personal information directly from the celebrities they love.
Author: Megan Donley