Of celebrity tweets and voyeuerism

Much buzz in Twittersphere after discovering that Mallika Sherwat was on Twitter. At 717 followers, she is not yet in the league of Ashton Kutcher who has 1,936,038 followers. Gul Panag (2555 followers) is another Bollywood actress who is active on Twitter. Following celebrity tweets seems to be a profession by itself with sites dedicated to celebrity tweets. Check Time magazine’s list of celebrity Twitter feeds here. What gives?

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Celebrities on Twitter have a huge impact – Oprah Winfrey’s recommendations are eagerly followed and she is supposed to have a direct impact on sales of certain books and sign-ups for Twitter itself.

For celebrities, it is another way of staying in the news. Celebrity Blogs create some flutter too, but writing a blog calls for some hard work, even if you have a ghost writer. Tweeting is relatively easy – just tell the world that you are tired of being single or you are into heavy breathing under 140 characters and you’ve got them mooning. It’s a dream come true for fans – it’s a voyeuristic view of the star’s life. An up to the minute update of what the star is up to – like a tabloid, only swifter.

As the ever-insightful Ad Contrarian said, Twitter is far more “self-promotional media” than “social media.” There is very little about it that is actually social. If I were a celebrity, I would tweet about having just written a blog post. But then, who would be interested?

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