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Mumbai: May 6, 2014
As midnight approached on May 5, 2010, Sachin Tendulkar announced his arrival on Twitter with a message, “Finally the original SRT is on Twitter n the first thing I’d like to do is wish my colleagues the best in the windies (sic)”. With his humongous fan base, it was but obvious that his follower count was to sky-rocket in no time. And, within 24 hours, he had about a 100,000 followers (1 lakh). A year down the line, he became the most followed Indian on Twitter, surpassing Shashi Tharoor. A few days later, he recorded a million followers. Today, his count stands over four million.
However, Tendulkar’s records on Twitter are under threat with the arrival of Rajinikanth. The legendary superstar greeted his fans on Twitter exactly four year after Tendulkar made his first appearance. Rajinikanth tweeted, “Salutation to the Lord. Vaṇakkam aṉaivarukkum! A big thank you to all my fans. Excited on this digital journey.” And, within a few hours, he had more than 100,000 followers. That count is galloping by the minute. It certainly is a reflection of Rajinikanth’s popularity.
While Rajinikanth’s first day on Twitter attracted much fanfare, there was a tinge of disappointment, too. Anyone tweeting to his handle was greeted with an automated reply which had a signed poster of his upcoming film Kochadaiyyan. It brought back memories of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) move to give fans autographed photos of Tendulkar during his last Test. But there was a difference. BCCI’s account is that of a body and one may expect automated tweets. On the other hand, one expects a human touch to a personal account of a superstar. It was quite clear that Rajinikanth’s account was managed by a machine and it lacked the human touch fans expected.
Having been four years on Twitter, Tendulkar has tweeted only 390 times to date. He is after all a man of a few words. But, Rajinikanth’s machine ensured he breached 5,000 tweets in a day. Some may joke by saying that it was Rajinikanth after all!
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