Twitter has provided an outlet for the masses to express themselves in 140 characters or less at a time. Celebrities and politicians alike have taken to Twitter, which allows these high profile people to directly connect with their public audience. Everyone has a voice on this platform, but some are just heard louder than others. Today, we bring you ten of the most widely followed, influential people on Twitter who have impacted our present culture and continue to have an effect on society.
1. Barack Obama
As the current President of the United States of America, Barack Obama has the world attentively watching and listening to him. In fact, President Obama has had all eyes and ears on him since his election campaign and win in 2008 and his subsequent inauguration in 2009. Twitter has played a vital role in keeping the President and the people connected to one another and spreading the President’s stance on hot topics–most notably, in recent news, includes his support of marriage equality. While his Twitter account is primarily controlled by his campaign staff, he does occasionally take the time out to tweet to his 15 million followers. With the 2012 presidential election approaching, this Twitter account is one to keep a close watch on for the latest in the President’s campaign trail.
2. Pete Cashmore
Pete Cashmore is the founder and CEO of Mashable, a leading news website “dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology.” Cashmore, who is only 26 years old, was recently crowned the most influential person in the world on the 2012 TIME 100 list. Having made quite the name for himself, the social news guru’s professional account, whose 50,000+ tweets consist of the latest news article on Mashable, has gained close to 3 million followers. Cashmore also has a personal Twitter account which is less frequently updated.
3. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has many titles including actress, producer, and media mogul with her own television network (OWN) and magazine (O). She is the former television host of her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, that was widely received and revered for the distance it took from the typical tabloid talk show in the 90’s. For years, she has managed to grow in popularity and make a name for herself as a strong and likable force in the public eye. Like her talk show, Winfrey expresses empathy and compassion for real people and social issues. She utilizes her Twitter account to share inspiring words and write back to the public, which makes a significant difference in the effectiveness of her words.
4. Stephen Fry
Actor, writer, and comedian Stephen Fry is an active and veritable force on Twitter. With over 4 million followers, the British humorist was an early adopter of the quick status updating platform in 2008. The increased popularity of Twitter in the UK is due in large part to the wordsmith’s activity on the social networking site. Fry has managed to grow his humble following from his early years on Twitter with his clever wit. He has garnered a loyal internet following, leading some fans to profess their love for him in equally creative and humorous ways.
5. Felicia Day
Just shy of 2 million followers, actress, writer, and producer Felicia Day‘s influence through her avid use of Twitter has been known to crash sites, simply by tweeting links to them. She is, arguably, the queen of the geeks and gamers. The media maven has cornered the market on gaming and evolved the future of new media with the introduction of her wildly popular web series The Guild, which premiered on YouTube in 2007. Nearly 5 years later, she has managed to build a career out of creating original web content and even launched a YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry that features original shows geared towards indie geek culture everyday.
6. Conan O’Brien
Comedian, writer, and late night talk show host Conan O’Brien has amassed an army of followers who have branded themselves as members of Team Coco, following his controversial exit in 2010 as host of The Tonight Show. After his last day on the popular late night talk show, the funny man took to Twitter, whose profile comically read “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.” This self-humility proved useful for the charismatic comic who went on to do a sold out 30-city tour, star in his own documentary called Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, and finally host a late night talk show, yet again, simply called Conan.
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7. Ryan Seacrest
Radio and television host Ryan Seacrest has his finger on the pulse of pop culture, which is surely appreciated by more than 6 million Twitter followers. Seacrest began his hosting career at the age of 16 as an intern at WSTR FM in Atlanta, Georgia and continued to pursue his dream, following in the footsteps of Dick Clark. He soared to fame 12 years later as the co-host of American Idol. Seacrest continues to host the hit reality TV series and his own national radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Today, he is also an accomplishedproducer of reality television.
8. Rachel Maddow
Author and television host Rachel Maddow is best known for her nightly political news show on MSNBC, aptly titled The Rachel Maddow Show. She is self-admittedly a liberal and respected by her colleagues for her educated political commentary that is devoid of feverish banter. With over 2 million followers, Maddow consistently tweets her opinions on political news across the globe, focusing on national stories. The political pundit regularly shares articles related to politics and social issues and isn’t afraid of being vocal with her own two cents.
9. Roger Ebert
Renowned film critic Roger Ebert is a frequent Twitter user with over 26,000 tweets and counting. The film aficionado began his career as a critic in 1967, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times. It is over 40 years later and Ebert continues to write reviews for the latest films, critiquing their plots and entertainment value. His sharp observations and endless perspectives keep readers interested specifically in his opinions, relying on his approval or objection to a film’s worthiness of attention. In addition to tweeting his own blog posts and other articles related to his passion for film, Ebert often tackles the subject of politics, sharing articles by political experts and lending his sarcastic responses.
10. Russell Brand
British actor and comedian Russell Brand was first introduced to American audiences in 2008 in the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall. From then on, he proceeded to regale global audiences with his quick wit, crafty wordplay, and interesting wardrobe choices. The eccentric, outspoken comic currently has over 4.6 million Twitter followers who revel in his humor. In recent news, Brand has used his wordy humor in Parliament where he had taken a serious stand in the political issue of British drug policy.