The social media world is certainly a world of its own, and for many people out there, it's the sort of planet to escape off to.
By Joseph Kizza
Quick question here: Are you a tweep? (As in, do you use Twitter?) Well then, if you are, how many followers do you have?
100? 2,000? 10k? One million?
Personally, I am yet to hit the 2k mark. While I may have long surpassed the 1k hurdle, I derive consolation from the fact that so many others are struggling to command even 100 followers. But then, is it a big deal? Yes and no.
The social media world is certainly a world of its own, and for many people out there, it's the sort of planet they escape off to for entertainment and information in equal measure. Celebrities use this space to connect with the people that love them or for what they do - and update them on what is going on in their lives.
One such space, Twitter, offers users an opportunity to engage in various conversations.
But who are the most followed people on Twitter and what have they said in this new chapter we are calling 2019?
Spoiler alert: Two Justins feature in the Top 10.
1. Katy Perry - 107 million followers
The 34-year-old singer, songwriter and TV personality tops the charts here.
Sitting pretty at the dizzying number one spot on Twitter's most followed list, Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (better known as Katy Perry) kicked off the year by delivering her fresh year's best wishes to everyone, packaged in a brief tweet: "happiest 2019 from us @ Kauai" - followed by a link to her Instagram page post of two cute dogs - or puppies - in the Central Pacific island.
Since that post of January 1, Perry, who sang in church as a child and pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager, has yet to post something new for her tweeps.
happiest 2019 from us ❤️ @ Kauai https://t.co/r0WJaSJDdU— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) January 1, 2019
2. Justin Bieber - 105 million followers
Twenty-four-year-old Bieber has sold about 140 million records, which makes him one of the best-selling music artists in the world.
Having soaked in the limelight at a tender age, having grown up learning to play the guitar, trumpet, piano and drums, the revered young Canadian singer-songwriter became the second person to reach 100 million followers on Twitter.
That was in August 2017.
Fast-forward to today and to his followers, the message has been straightforward: "Happy new year".
Happy new year— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 1, 2019
3. Barack Obama - 104 million followers
The third most followed person in the world of tweeps is former US president, Barack Hussein Obama II.
America's 44th president, who served at the helm from 2009 until 2017, urged people to "step up and show up" like they had done in 2018 in his first and so far only tweet of 2019.
"We've got a lot of work to do, and I'll be right there wth you," he vowed.
By the way, 57-year-old Obama is a 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
In 2018 people stepped up and showed up like never before. Keep it up in 2019. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’ll be right there with you. Happy New Year, everybody!— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 1, 2019
4. Rihanna - 88.8 million followers
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, who you know as Rihanna, is a singer, songwriter and actress born in Barbados. Her popularity in the world of music hardly needs any introduction.
It speaks for itself.
On a rainy afternoon like this one today in Kampala, you probably would fancy listening to her hit Umbrella.
Anyways, for 2019, she hit the ground running, meaning real business. Her first post of the year was a video about a concealer makeup.
"Get into the cure real quick!" she posts.
5. Taylor Swift - 83.3 million followers
So, as you may have noticed already, musicians enjoy the lion's share of the Twitter followership heirarchy. So hats off for Obama - a politician - for disrupting the pattern.
In fifth place is 29-year-old American singer-songwriter Taylor Alison Swift.
Known for narrative songs about her personal life, Swift has not yet posted anything on her Twitter page in 2019.
On New Year's Eve, however, she posted a slick GIF of her concert film dubbed Reputation released on Netflix.
6. Lady Gaga - 77.5 million followers
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is her name.
OK, that's a mouthful, so let's stick to Lady Gaga.
At more than 77 million followers on Twitter, the 32-year-old American singer, songwriter and actress began performing as a teen.
She has sold as many as 27 million albums and 146 million singles as of January 2016, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history.
I am sure her followers are keenly waiting for her first tweet of 2019. Let's watch the space . . .
7. Ellen DeGeneres - 76.8 million followers
A comedian, television host, actress, writer and producer, Ellen Lee DeGeneres, is a crowd puller on Twitter.
The 60-year-old American starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998. She has been the host of her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, for 15 years now.
On Twitter, she is already active this year and has 11 posts already! But 2019 found her in bed after doing a countdown to the stroke of midnight.
4… 3… 2… ONE! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Close enough. I’m going to bed. See you in 2019.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 1, 2019
8. Cristiano Ronaldo - 75.9 million followers
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is doing what he is best known for - banging in goals.
Currently at Italian giants Juventus, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, who has netted 13 goals in the Serie A this season, is the most popular sportsperson on Twitter.
His 75.9 million followers get to have a chance to know what is happening in the popular forward's life both on and off the pitch.
2019 found him spending valuable time with family, and his two posts on January 1 revealed this - a shower of glitzy fireworks lighting up the night skies in the background.
About last night!🎆🎉 pic.twitter.com/80SsqTvHsI— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 1, 2019
10. Justin Timberlake - 64.7 million followers
He was one of the two lead vocalists and the youngest member of NSYNC. The group went on to became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.
At 37, Justin Timberlake's life is a juggle of many talents: singing, songwriting, acting, dancing and record producing. So it shouldn't be surprising that he commands a 64.7 million-strong followership on Twitter.
He hasn't posted anything yet on his Twitter page this year, his last posting being of him, Jessica Biel and "that guy back there with the cape" wishing everyone "happy holidays".
In the Twitter popularity rankings, Timberlake places behind ninth-placed YouTube.
So have some of the above profiles surprised you? How does your favorite celebrity place in the Twitter rankings? Top 20? Top 100?
How about you? Do you make the Top 1,000,000 list? Let me know what you think >> @joekizza