One only needs to examine the magazine rack of any corner shop or supermarket to see we, as Western culture, are obsessed with celebrity. It’s been suggested we use public figures in order to fulfil the inherent craving our society has for bonding over shared experience of people, something in bygone years we would have sated with garden-wall gossip with the neighbours. Twitter is no exception; many people’s first ‘followee’ is a celebrity – Stephen Fry, Lady GaGa and Justin Beiber combined have over 20,000,000 followers – and trending topics regularly result from one celebrity’s tweet to their fans or simply a snowballing of affection or hatred from the tweeting masses.
What is it celebrities hope to achieve through Twitter, then? Is it a medium through which they can connect with their fans in a small but meaningful way, another facet of their own self-promotion, a make-shift litmus test of public opinion towards them, or some combination or none of these? I shall be trying to investigate the presentation of celebrity selves through Twitter and what seems to want to be achieved through them, as well as whether I believe it to be effective.