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Frederick Levy. Alpha , - Performing Arts - pages. But it's been more than that for Bieber, who has ridden his generation's social media wave to a new kind of celebrity. He was early to Twitter, the social media site where a race to a million followers by Ashton Kutcher and CNN Breaking News--then an unofficial account!
He notched a million followers himself the same year: he was 14 years old. To reach his Beliebers, sure, he can make an "Ellen" appearance or talk about his hair with "Access Hollywood. But all he's ever needed is his phone.
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With their hero closer and more attainable than a pop star has ever been, Bieber's fans are devout--and possessive. When a year-old Bieber joked about dating Kim Kardashian, they sent her death threats. As online music culture's moved from geeks-only message boards and file-sharing chatrooms to the endless public forums of Twitter, Instagram and the rest, yesterday's fan clubs have become gargantuan, self-aware hydras.
But few of them have had the Beliebers' fervor: Twitter changed its algorithms after Bieber fans made him a trending topic every day for weeks. Today's pop afficionados might be better organized and reach a wider global audience than a few of the presidential candidates. At the time, Twitter denied making a direct response to Bieber's popularity. On his many networks, Bieber is with his fans all day. He talks to them when he wakes up and when he goes to sleep. He shares his partying, his motivations and, one time on vacation, his butt.
After a nervous "Ellen" appearance, he posted a dimly lit video of his own to apologize for his recent behavior.
Somehow, this isn't overexposure: it's a relationship. Fans who once mailed away for autographed images now have the excitement of a potential favorite, a retweet, a follow--better, even, than a meet-and-greet, because it's proof to the fandom that you were worthy. You were a true fan. For celebrities on Bieber's level--Beyonce, Swift and many of the world's top pop stars, as well as Kardashian, the Michelangelo of Instagram--social media has become an art form, and an industry, arguably as important as any hit song.
The distance and artifice and safety of a Disney show or an MTV appearance is gone, and with it, the need to toss Bieber aside for a new model. Rather than grow out of him, his fans are actually proud to have known him since the beginning: 9YearsOfKidRauhl, a Bieber nickname, trended in January as the fandom's annual celebration.
A New Watchlist
Bieber's been a constant for his fans, whose own online friendships and linked passions can now endure through middle school graduations, high school drama and the other life upheavals that once forced teens to grow up and reinvent, too. This is what fame and fandom look like now, thanks to his influence: loyal. Image credit: John Lamparski Getty Images. Eric Samson.
Guest Writer. May 25, 7 min read. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. More from Entrepreneur.https://coatihipinp.tk
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