Pop queen Lady Gaga became the queen of Twitter this weekend, as she gained her 20 millionth follower, maintaining her long-standing lead on the social networking website and beating out 'Baby' singer Justin Bieber--her closest competition with over 18 million followers.
Gaga (real name Stephanie Germanotta) joined Twitter earlier than most celebrities, signing up in 2008. She claimed the number one most followed spot in August 2010 after surpassing Britney Spears. Gaga reached 10 million followers last May, and doubled the number in the ten months since then.
Gaga attributes her success on Twitter to her refusal to let someone else write her tweets for her. The pop star has always written her own messages, using the account to interact with fans, respond to their questions, and release information regarding tour dates and new recorded music.
Her online presence has always been instrumental to Gaga's massive success (her last album, Born This Way, sold 8 million copies). Aside from Twitter, she also has 4.8 million followers on her Facebook fan page, and more than 800,000 'circle' on Google+. Gaga even launched her own social network, called Little Monsters, for her fans, and partnered with online gaming company Zyngo to create GaGaVille, her own take on the hugely popular Facebook app, Farmville.
Despite the dynamic nature of Twitter, where users can read the opinions of experts, political leaders, celebrities and citizens around the world, the five most followed Twitter accounts are all Pop stars. Gaga holds an undisputed lead, while Bieber is still holding on to second place with 18.1 million. Singer Katy Perry is in third with 15.7 million followers. Shakira is in fourth with 14.5 million and Rihanna is in fifth with 14.4 million followers.
United States president Barack Obama only has 12.84 million followers for his account (putting him in eight place). The messages are mostly written by his staff members, though he sometimes signs his own messages with his initials. However, the president recently pointed out that he still has more followers than popular comedian Aziz Ansari at a New York fundraiser last week.