The Day Ellen Broke Twitter

Mar 26, 2014
Abraham Villegas

 Ellen Broke TwitterEvery week we discuss the success of a company or brand on social media, and that’s great but we often overlook at the people who are doing awesome things on social media.

While she may be considered a public figure in Hollywood, she often engages with the public audience from her Twitter account. By now, most of you know (or at least should know) that at this year’s Oscars, Ellen Degeneres (with the help of Bradley Cooper) broke Twitter on live TV. In an effort to break President Obama’s record for the most retweeted tweet, Ellen took a group ‘selfie’ and asked the audience to retweet it. Well, not only did she get what she wanted, the photo went viral so fast that users overloaded Twitter and took down the servers. Now, breaking that record is a big deal for two reasons. The first, Ellen showed us extremely high metrics that haven’t been seen before. Secondly, she demonstrated the vast power of social media through viral mass communication.

That picture and tweet received an amazing 3.4 million retweets which expands to more than 3.3 billion views.

Here is how that tweet reached so many people. In the photo was Ellen DeGeneres (with 28.1 million twitter followers), Bradley Cooper (with 55k followers), Brad Pitt (with 171k followers), Angelina Jolie (with 77k followers), Kevin Spacey (with 3 million followers) and Meryl Streep (with 33k followers) and some others. That’s about 31 million followers, now add every actor and celebrity in the audience. You are easily talking about more than a billion followers of the people sitting in front of her. It is the epitome of mass communication.

The best part about this aren’t the numbers or the fame. The very idea itself of taking a group picture with friends and others inspires the very reason why social media exists. Social media was created to build and enhance relationships. It was created to capture life’s greatest moments. And this was that.

Another great detail is that the group selfie theme has kicked off into something of its own that spawned from Ellen’s first viral photo (It’s technically Cooper’s).

Others are now joining in on the fun and huddling up to challenge Ellen’s Oscar photo. The first runner up? Jimmy Kimmel and the Clinton family. Not so Hollywood, but still pretty awesome since we don’t often get to see the social side of politics. What we know for sure is that social media is changing in a way that really integrates sociable actions with others.

With that in mind, do you know anyone else that is changing social in one way or another? We’d love to hear about it.

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