This month, NewsOne presents a special exploration of Black Americans’ influence on social media, #TWEETING WHILE BLACK.
Twitter has amassed more than 300 million users since its public launch in 2006, and a Pew Research Center survey shows that African Americans are more likely to Tweet than any other demographic. There is some speculation that this is because the median age among African Americans is currently skewing seven years younger than that of Whites — which can then be linked to smartphone usage and interest in the celebrities and media outlets (like BET’s 106 & Park), that rank among the most followed — but no conclusive study has been conducted.
SEE ALSO: INFOGRAPHIC: A History Of Black Twitter
But there’s no doubt that Black Americans are among the most effective and powerful users of Twitter, and that their influence is far out of proportion to their share of population.
Here is NewsOne’s official list of the Top 10 Black Tweeters. Are you following them?
1. @BarackObama: 11,449,382 Followers)
The account is run by his #Obama2012 campaign staff with at least daily updates on Presidential happenings. Much less frequently, he’ll chime in (he signs these Tweets “-BO”): “This dinner is important because I’m only president thanks to the work of millions of Americans like the four I just met.” (He dined with a teacher, an entrepreneur, a postal worker, and an artist who all donated at least $3 to his campaign and won the “Dinner With Obama” contest.)
2. @rihanna: 10,428,259 Followers
Her Tweets range from a Happy Birthday @britneyspears to quoting Jay Z to self-promotional commentary on her own social gaffes like “Shooting another vid in Ireland today!No farm this time :( … Im shooting another #ARMANI campaign Spring/Summer!Try to sneek u a pic ;)”
3. @Oprah: 8,456,870 Followers
She’s surprisingly not new age-preachy on this Twitter account. Instead, the media mogul posts one word response to her followers (“hi”), smiley face icons, and the occasional update of what it’s like to be Oprah: “Just saw Hugh Jackman on Broadway. WOW was he awe inspiring. He BROUGHT IT. Sang it, danced it and THREW DOWN!”
4. @NICKIMINAJ: 7,560,448 Followers
Between her Pink Friday promotions and congratulations to @maryjblige for her new album, the platinum-selling artist spends most of her Tweets thanking her Barbz and acting in cyber-speak: “Thank u my loves. I couldn’t do this w/o you. I am overwhelmed. I’m in love w/u guys. How could one girl be this lucky? *holds u close*”
5. @chrisbrown: 6,011,182 Followers
He still has a considerable following after recently deleting most of his Tweets. Now, Young Brezzy’s account is sporadic, sparse words like: “ELEVATE MENTALITY” and “Live LIFE!”
6. @MariahCarey: 5,314,200 Followers
With her record-breaking 1993 release, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” still charting and recently being remixed by Justin Beiber, Mrs. Cannon is using her Twitter to count down the days ‘til 25th, and bubble about her new song with John Legend, “When Christmas Comes.” She also takes a moment to shout out her second cousin’s sweet sixteen, post a Twitpic of herself in the booth, and send a note to O.D.B.: “Happy birthday & RIP to the late great O.D.B! I miss you & love you. “Ol’ dirty bastard across the globe.” – Fantasy.. classic, forever. Xo”
7. @aliciakeys: 5,284,370 Followers
Besides the occasional personal Tweets to the likes of @traciellisross, she’s all business on her account promoting her Keep A Child Alive cause, the Broadway play “Sticky Fly” that she produced, and her job as a “light bearing mommy/artist/songwriter/musician…”: “‘You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watching and love like it is never going to hurt ~ Ann Wells’.”
8. @50Cent: 5,301,573 Followers
He goes in multiple times per day, and will sometimes drop insight like how amazing it was to see Goldie Hawn and @deepackchopra live, but in true 50 fashion is mostly about the marketing strategy: “Streetking is the movement I’m not reading or retweeting if I don’t see SK in your tweets I need your help hold me down” (referencing his energy drink partnership with the United Nation to feed the hungry).
9. @kanyewest: 5,251,094 Followers
Only a select group of Tweeters have millions of followers without following anyone at all (the Dalai Lama, Rev Run, and Lord Valdermort), and, of course, Kanye tops that list. But it’s not the arrogant, Ye-centricity that one may expect. He expresses gratitude with a thank you to HipHopDX.com for a “tasteful well written review,” Chicagoan camaraderie with a re-Tweet of Bears stats mid-game, and just genuine goodwill: “Support Michael J. Fox foundation & NIKE and the fight against Parkinson’s”
10. @SnoopDogg: 5,222,697 Followers
He’s got a narrowed-eye focus on #macanddevin via many daily Tweets. The only thing that’ll make him take a breather from his new joint album with Wiz Khalifa is news of his Snoop Youth Football League Superbowl game and his family: “Sunday n vegas syfl superbowl go hard or go home! Happy 2 b home. Cocori! N tae tae !! Love yall!!”
List derived from Twitaholic.com, data updated via Twitter.com