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Twitter has become one of the first places to go to find out, first hand, what your favourite celebrities are up to. In fact, we’ve put together a list of celebrities and inspirational entrepreneurs you really should follow on Twitter. But what if you switched things around a bit? While there’s a ton of celebs who got famous and then made their way onto Twitter, there’s a few who did it the other way around. They got on Twitter, and then got famous.
For some it was serendipity — users who were in the right place in the right time and live-tweeted a significant moment. For others, it was a lot of hard work — users who used their talent or sense of humour to create a following of well over 1 million users. We’ve put together a short list of five Twitter users who have made it big. Who knows, you might be next!
The most recent inductee to the Twitter Hall of Fame, Kyle Ayers shot from just over 3,800 followers to over 30,000 in the space of five days. How did he do it? Ayers just happened to be sitting on a rooftop where an unfortunate Brooklyn couple argued their way to a break-up. So he did what any self-respecting comedian does — he live-tweeted the event. The tweets got picked up by Buzzfeed and beyond, catapulting Ayers into Internet fame. Surprisingly, he’s not the first comedian to do just that. Andy Boyle live-tweeted a restaurant breakup, and while it earned him some recognition, his following didn’t grow nearly half as much as Ayers did. Both experiments in live-tweeting weren’t without their critics, with some questioning the ethics of live-tweeting a breakup.
“I’m not talking about love on a roof in Brooklyn.” -guy #roofbreakup
— Kyle Ayers (@kyleayers) November 17, 2013
Live-tweeting a breakup isn’t the only way to get Twitter famous. Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant from Pakistan, found himself an unlikely celebrity after he unwittingly live-tweeted the raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011. Athar’s tweets chronicled the raid, what people thought it might be, and what he was hearing from others in the area. While his Twitter following shot up to well over 60,000 followers, it’s been steadily on the decline, proving that while it’s easy to get famous fast on Twitter, it’s harder to stay famous.
Report from a sweeper: A family also died in the crash, and one of the helicopter riders got away and is now being searched for.
— Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) May 2, 2011
Comedians seem to have the market cornered on getting famous on Twitter. If there’s one comedian that is the epitome of that it’s Jason Sweeney. The Canadian comedian has made a name for himself on Twitter and on Tumblr, with his blog, I am Your Canadian Boyfriend. His sense of humour, and getting in on Twitter early in the game, has earned him the title King of Twitter.
I don’t care about the IPO, guys. Twitter already made me rich… in *friendship*. [Smiles widely. Then wider. Even wider. Head falls off.]
— Jason Sweeney (@sween) November 7, 2013
Justin Halpern’s own twitter account might not be as well-known as another Twitter account he runs: Sh*t my dad says. The comedic account has accrued a whopping 3 million followers and has even gone on to inspire its very own TV show, starring none other than William Shatner. The TV show may have only lasted one season on CBS, but it’s a hell of a lot more than most us other Twitter users can show for. And not only has the Twitter account led to a TV show, it’s also led to a book deal or two.
“No. Aliens exist, I just don’t think they came millions of light years just to see earth. Be like driving 1000 miles to go to an Arby’s”
— Justin (@shitmydadsays) January 25, 2011
Who says you have to be a person to get famous on Twitter? Sockington the cat has over 1.3 million followers to prove it. The little grey Massachusetts cat, who’s been on Twitter since 2007, has ended up on Twitter’s suggested users list. Sockington is proof that just a little bit of creativity can go a long way on the path to Twitter fame. And there’s apparently a book in Sockington’s future as well. Sockington has also made it onto our list of people using Twitter in ways you can’t imagine.
SOCKINGTON SHUTDOWN CONTINUES essential services like mouth will remain open HINT HINT
— Sockamillion (@sockington) October 6, 2013
Can you think of any other Twitter users to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: Andreas Eldh