If you haven’t read Vanity Fair’s article American’s Tweethearts then you should. Apart from being an interesting look into how Media views twitter (read sans all the Black and Latino people) it discussed what they call Twilebrity. The six porcelain skinned blondes, brunettes, and one red head dressed in what appears to be only pumps, trench coats, and their favorite mobile device are supposed to be what reflects what Twilebrities look like on Twitter. And if you think Twitter following has something to do with it think again. The “tweethearts” range from 24,000 followers to 1.6MM followers. Huge range.
From left to right: social strategist Julia Roy (31,000 followers), publicist Sarah Evans (33,000 followers), travel journalist Stefanie Michaels (1.4 million followers), actress Felicia Day (1.6 million followers), lifecaster Sarah Austin (24,000 followers), and marketer Amy Jo Martin (1.2 million followers). Photograph by Michael Halsband for Vanity Fair
About half of the women they featured in the story have over 1 million followers, no easy task regardless of race. But the other half only have a few tens of thousands followers, between 24,000 and 33,000 to be exact. You would think that it would be fairly easy to find Twitterers with that kind of following that more accurately reflect the actual make-up of who’s most active on Twitter. People like NY Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham (288,976 followers), anti-slavery activist Somaly Mam (274,434 followers), or self described “Latina Geek” Laura Gomez (86,361 followers).
Anil Dash of SixApart Tweeted his thoughts on the issue:
Vanity Fair runs fawning “tweethearts” stories like http://bit.ly/vftwee But anyone can see black culture rules Twitter via trending topics
It’s no secret that topics that dominate twitter do in fact surround Black culture…a lot. Aside from noting what trends on Twitter it seems like the author didn’t dig deep enough to find (or include) recent finding from Pew on Internet usage, finding 44% of the people surveyed that updated Twitter are Black and Latino.