Twitter Battle for the Most Followers: Ashton Kutcher vs CNN

There is a Battle Royale happening on Twitter to see who will reach 1 million followers on the fast-growing social network first. TV and film star, Ashton Kutcher, has challenged CNN that he will reach the milestone before they do. This challenge is filled with trash talking, videos, and even impersonations. Here’s a CNN article with details, and it continues to be updated. According to Marin Purgar, an information technology consultant in Croatia, Kutcher will beat CNN to the 1 million follower mark before 4pm ET on Thursday, while the network’s news feed won’t reach that point until 1pm ET on Friday.

Tally as of Wednesday, April 15, 2009 per Twitterholic:
CNN: 923,624
Ashton Kutcher: 921,871

Many on Twitter are talking about this, but yesterday it was not the most talked about topic on the service. It is number five now at 8am ET, and I am sure it will rise over the course of the day. Many in the Twittersphere don’t care about number of followers themselves, but are interested in the drama of the race. There is a big upside to Twitter, as the media hype surrounding it will only continue to expand over the next couple of days. This brings more users to the service everyday, and their explosive growth of the past few months will continue. What does it mean to users of the service? Does greater adoption of Twitter lead to better engagement, better conversations and stronger networks? Let me know you thoughts in the comments.

And one final note, the CNN story was updated since yesterday and now reveals that the CNN Breaking News feed on Twitter, the account currently with the most followers, was not even started by CNN, however, they just purchased it from the man who wanted CNN updates on his mobile phone.


  1. Ugh, I could care less about either of them — they’re just jumping on the latest hip thing (our Twitter!) and catching some buzz. This will pass and so will they. Will more users bring a better Twitter experience? Possibly, if Twitter can keep up with all the new traffic — it’s been hit or miss the last week or so. More users bring more voices, more conversations and relationships. It will be up to each of us to manage how we handle additional people in our twitter streams. Even using tweetdeck, groups get larger and after a while I’ll have to start culling (and probably be culled by others). That’s our challenge, managing more conversations, a good problem, I think.

  2. Thanks for the comment. While the new influx of celebrities does bring more people to Twitter, and therefore has the potential to make it more effective for business, as there are more conversations. One problem is that all celebrities do not understand the nature of conversational communication tools, and they continue to broadcast their message and “content.” None of the top Twitterers follow very many people. Some of them do reply, but I really wonder how anyone can engage with 1 million followers. Time will tell what Twitter becomes.

    And this post was to document the moment rather than endorse the influx.

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