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Jessica Beresford: Twitter fuels Beliebers and Little Monsters


By Jessica Beresford

Published: 3:00PM Tuesday June 12, 2012 Source: ONE News

While in the country last week, Lady Gaga tweeted : "I am SO HAPPY and excited to be in New Zealand!! Resting up for our show, I can't wait to sing for you!"

In fact, she frequently chats with her Little Monsters on the social networking site; answering her fans questions, telling them about her day, conversing like you would with a good friend.

Yesterday, One Direction member Niall Horan tweeted while in Arizona: "guys..if you are outside the arena in phoenix, please be safe..its super warm out there.drink loads of water! Please...lookin out for u guys." How adorable.

And for the past week, Justin Bieber has been tweet -counting down the days until the release of his next album, responding to his fans and sending out Bieberblasts.

So what do Gaga, the Biebz and 1D all have in common?

They have chart-topping pop tunes that stick in your head, and are worth their weight of Twitter followers in gold (although One Direction claim to be paid in lollies).

And perhaps most astoundingly, they manage to draw mass hysteria wherever they go, in the form of salivating, hyperventilating girls lingering around like a bad smell.

And yes, we've seen mass hysteria before. Boy bands Take That and N Sync caused frenzies among girls in the nineties. And so did Madonna before them, and the Beatles before that.

So what sets these latest image-bound artists apart from their predecessors?

Their ability to connect with Beliebers, Directioners and Little Monsters, as their fans are so affectionately known, like never before.

Just as the social media revolution has the world in its suffocating grip, the music industry has used this advantage in its own manipulative way. And boy, does it know how to play the game.

Let's be honest, hoards of girls don't become hysterical over Bieber's lyrics or Gaga's costumes. Even One Direction's squeaky-clean sex appeal isn't what keeps the fans coming back for more. Social media, especially Twitter, is the driving force behind these artist's success.

I've even heard proof of this first hand. Standing outside the Langham Hotel, on a brisk April morning, I waited patiently for a wave, a smile, or any form of movement from behind a curtain window. Me and a hundred or so Directioners, that is.

When probed as to what really appeals to the fans, their replies were not just that 1D were cute or good at singing (ahem), rather they felt they knew the members on a personal level because of their presence on social networking sites.

This connection and love for the fans brings celebrity normality to a whole new level, and while it may be sincere or come from the heart, it's still clever marketing on their behalf. And in a world where being retweeted or followed is as good it gets, I pity any celebrity who isn't part of it.

Read more opinion pieces by Jessica