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Updated 26 Jan 2016

The Race To 100 Million Twitter Followers

To mark Twitter's 10 year anniversary I decided to create an infographic showing the top 100 followed twitter users. It shows the number of followers each user had every year since joining the service. (Most joined between 2009 and 2010, with a handful joining earlier). I have not shown other users that were in the top 100 in previous years because the chart would become too crowded.


^ Please retweet, like or reply and let me know what you think...


At the moment it looks like Katy Perry is the firm favorite to hit 100 million followers first, having added 17.4 million followers in 2015. That gain was only slightly exceeded by Taylor Swift's gain of 18.7 million followers during the same period. Nine accounts made an appearance in the list for the first time. These included three Indian accounts, reflecting the growing popularity of Twitter in India. In terms of representation, this places India third (with 6 users), the UK second (with 11 users), and the USA first (with 66 users). Musicians, actors and TV personalities still dominate.

The Race To 100 Million Twitter Followers

It took about two weeks to research the historic follower counts for each of the top 100 users. We only started tracking this data about two years ago on twiends, so I had to go and do some detective work to get the earlier years.
In most cases I was able to get very accurate counts for each user on the 31st of December every year. Most of this is available in cached copies of the user profile pages. I also referenced cached and current versions of the top user lists published by Twitaholic and Twitter Counter. In some instances I needed to take readings close to that date and then model the growth trajectories during that period. Then it was just a case of some fancy Excel to create the various charts.
It's evident that being in the top 10 has an 'amplification effect', with these accounts far outpacing the rest of the pack in recent years. This is to be expected, as these accounts tend to get listed more often, and are usually discovered by new users first. They often have a large quantity of inactive followers making up their follower-base because of this, but they generally have the most active followers too.

Want to embed this on your website?

Feel free to embed this graphic on your website. All I ask is that you link back to this page so that your readers can find the most up-to-date version. Below is some html that does this for you:

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