Oprah Loses Out as Tweeters Go Gaga 

Lady Gaga and her 10 million Twitter followers have bumped Oprah Winfrey off the top spot in Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities.

Lady Gaga accepts award from Cher on stage at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
Kevin Mazur | WireImage | Getty Images
Lady Gaga accepts award from Cher on stage at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

Never mind that Oprah’s Harpo Productions own a vast media empire taking in TV production and magazines. She looks a bit lonely with a measly 5.9 million followers on Twitter. And after all Lady Gaga has a dress made of meat and travels in a sedan chair that looks like a giant egg.

If Twitter did the job for Lady Gaga, it was YouTube that bumped wee Justin Bieber to No. 3. His breakthrough music video “Baby” has been viewed 500 million times on YouTube. That’s a record for the site.

And he has a respectable 9.7 million Twitter followers. Oh and a noun invented specially for him. If you love Justin, you are a “Belieber.” I am not.

Facebook is the choice of Eminem. The US rapper has over 36 million fans on Facebook and that was enough to qualify him just behind Lady Gaga in its social ranking.

But if Oprah’s vast wealth and TV profile can’t overcome the advance of social media but the $290 million she earned over the past year should help ease the pain.

Lady Gaga’s $90 million income and Bieber’s $53 million suggest there’s more work to be done monetising web profile, but in the mean time the Internet certainly continues to challenge the dominance of traditional media.

So the tables have turned against traditional media in celeb-land, by Forbes measure at least. It’s timely that the list should come out the same week as LinkedIn stock comes to market.

That IPO values the company of $4.25 billion and has sparked debate over whether Silicon Valley is partying like its 1999.

Opinion remains divided on that point. Some argue the pace of growth in numbers and levels of engagement amongst web users means there are huge opportunities for social media companies. Naysayers ask if any of these businesses have actually found a way to make money out all those “friends” and “followers.”

Personally, top of my mind is why does Lady Gaga have 10 million followers when @BeccyMeehan has 336?