“Today we #WITNESS history. Congratulations @katyperry, the first to reach 100 million followers!” announced Twitter’s official account on Friday.
The company encouraged fans to share their “favourite Katy Perry moments” in celebration of the milestone – no, her new album going in at number six in the UK albums chart that day doesn’t count, cynics – but there has been some discussion of just how accurate the 100m milestone is.
Today, we #WITNESS history.
— Twitter (@Twitter) June 16, 2017
A recent piece on news site Digital Spy suggested using the Twitter Audit site to gauge how many of Perry’s Twitter followers are actually real people. It reckons that only 37% of them are, with the other 63% “fake” followers – bots, inactive accounts and so on.
It’s important to realise that this doesn’t represent any chicanery or follower-buying on Perry’s part: it’s a reflection that celebrity accounts tend to attract lots of bots and eggs.
The figures do vary though. For example, Twitter Audit calculates that 56% of Justin Bieber’s 96.8 million followers are real; that 83% of Taylor Swift’s 85.1 million are real; and that 47% of Rihanna’s 74.1 million are real.