Shaq Passes GigaOM On Twitter, Still Way Behind Obama, Kevin Rose

NBA star Shaq O’Neal has only been using Twitter for a week, and — no surprise — he’s already one of the most popular Twitter users. Around 11 a.m. today, Shaq had some 11,538 “followers,” or subscribers, pushing him past tech blogger Om Malik, who has 11,515 followers.

That’s a lot of people reading Shaq’s tweets, but he still has a long way to go to catch up to Twitter’s star users.

  • Barack Obama’s Twitter account has 137,000 followers, though his staff hasn’t used it since Nov. 5.
  • Digg dude Kevin Rose has almost 75,000 followers.
  • He’s followed by more tech stars like Leo Laporte (63,000), Alex Albrecht (42,000) and Jason Calacanis (41,000).

Most impressive about Shaq’s Twittering: It feels like it’s really him. Unlike Britney Spears‘ account, which is a bunch of self-promoting drivel from her “team.”

Why do we care? Because if Twitter Inc. is going to do better than a $500 million takeover by Facebook, it needs to catch on with mainstream users, not just tech types. Having real-world stars like Shaq using the service will help.

See Also:
Twitter’s New MVP: Following Shaq Is Fun
Twitter Rejects $500 Million Takeover Offer From Facebook
Twitter Acq-Hires Former O’Reilly CTO Dornfest

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