Have celebrities deserted Twitter? Here's how the top 10 most followed use social media

Most favour Instagram, while a few tweet several times a day

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Is Twitter dying?" the social media platform's largest individual stakeholder, Elon Musk, asked on Saturday.

He was calling out users, such as Justin Bieber, who are among the most-followed accounts and yet rarely post.

“Most of these 'top' accounts tweet rarely and post very little content,” the Tesla chief executive wrote, captioning a list of the 10 profiles with the most followers — a list on which he sits at number eight, with 81 million followers.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the 10 most-followed people on Twitter.

Is Musk right? Do these prolifically followed celebrities hardly ever share content?

Here's how the top 10 most-followed use the platform...

1. Barack Obama

Followers: 131.5 million

Tweets: 16,400

While the former US president joined Twitter in March 2007, he didn't start tweeting until 2011, and of course, has used other official presidential accounts in between.

He's fairly active on Twitter these days, with 16 tweets each in April and March, 23 in February and 29 in January.

He uses Instagram quite frequently, too, with a slight variation in content, but overall, Obama is on Twitter more often.

2. Justin Bieber

Followers: 114.3 million

Tweets: 31,400

Canadian singer Justin Bieber, who joined Twitter in March 2009, has only tweeted once in 2022 — about Canadian hockey (incidentally around the time he tested positive for Covid-19) — but he was fairly active between October and December last year, then quiet between August and October.

While he seemingly takes breaks from Twitter every so often, he remains prolific on Instagram, with several posts per day (31 in April so far).

3. Katy Perry

Followers: 108.8 million

Tweets: 11,600

Katy Perry remains active on Twitter, which she joined in February 2009, with 10 posts in April so far about her involvement in American Idol (she's a judge), Katy Perry Collections and the odd one in support of Ukraine.

She tweeted almost 40 times in March, about 11 in February and 28 in January.

It's more or less the same content on Instagram.

4. Rihanna

Followers: 106 million

Tweets: 10,600

Rihanna joined Twitter in October 2009, but has been quiet on the platform for the past 10 days. She'd put out 18 tweets this year at the time of writing, and seems to be far more active on Instagram, where she's posted about 11 times in April so far on her main feed.

On Twitter, she posted only three times in March and nine each in February and January, mostly about Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty, climate justice and her pregnancy wardrobe.

5. Cristiano Ronaldo

Followers: 98.8 million

Tweets: 3,778

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has been known to delete tweets in the past, and so his tweet count may not be particularly reflective of how active he is on the platform.

He's not a prolific tweeter, but posts a few times a month at least, with two in April, eight in March, six in February and nine times in January, when he kept us up to date on his trip to Dubai and Expo 2020.

He's far more active on Instagram, however, with almost daily posts.

His content mostly spans family, football and fitness.

6. Taylor Swift

Followers: 90.3 million

Tweets: 716

Taylor Swift, who joined Twitter in December 2008, famously deleted all of her social media posts a few years ago, and so now her first tweet that's visible on her account is from August 2017, when she posted teasers of her album Reputation.

Despite her love-hate relationship with the platforms, she is active, but barely. She's only shared two tweets this year, in response to Blur's Damon Albarn saying she didn't write her own songs, although she did post a fair bit in November.

Between August and October she took another break, and yet was very active in 2019 and 2020, so it's safe to say Swift is not a reliable source of social media content.

Her usage of Instagram is about the same, although it's different content. This year, she posted about the movie adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing and her cat's birthday on the main feed, for example.

7. Lady Gaga

Followers: 84.5 million

Tweets: 9,742

Lady Gaga joined Twitter in March 2008 and still uses it, but don't expect regular updates.

She's posted twice in April so far, both times about the Grammys, then 10 updates in March, four in February and 11 in January.

Gaga has mostly been posting about awards season, House of Gucci and magazine covers she's appeared on. She also retweets collaborator Tony Bennett.

She uses Instagram a little more frequently, again mostly to post looks from the red carpets.

8. Elon Musk

Followers: 81.1 million

Tweets: 17,300

Most of us already know Musk is among the most prolific Twitter users. He's posted 13 times within the past 24 hours alone (at the time of writing) and that's excluding retweets.

It's clearly his platform of preference.

Musk made his Instagram account private in March, saying you need to follow @elonmusksnft to be accepted as a follower on his main account.

9. Narendra Modi

Followers: 77.7 million

Tweets: 32,400

India's Prime Minister is also a pretty prolific poster, as most politicians are. He's posted six times in the past 24 hours (again, at the time of writing) and you can generally expect several updates from him per day.

He's on Instagram far less, with only one post in April so far, five in March and seven in February.

10. Ellen DeGeneres

Followers: 77.5 million

Tweets: 23,700

The comedian's account, @TheEllenShow, is very active, with several posts per day and 27 so far in April.

It's mostly clips from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but also causes that are dear to DeGeneres's heart, such as, in recent weeks, LGBTQ+ rights and support for Ukraine.

With the daytime talk show set to end on Thursday, May 26, we can expect different content from the star going forward (and perhaps a change in handle). With no clips to share, she may indeed stop posting as much, too.

Updated: June 23, 2023, 3:26 PM