Monday, June 18, 2012

The Power of Bieber

On Friday morning, June 15, 2012, Justin Bieber performed on the Rockefeller Plaza outside the NBC Today show studios. Before the concert, he sat down with Matt Lauer to discuss his tour.

Longtime Today show host Matt Lauer confessed that Bieber had convinced him to sign up for twitter, something he said he swore he'd never do. During the interview, Lauer asked the 18-year-old pop star to prove his influence by helping him gain followers, "I want to find out the power of Bieber. I'm gonna do a little test here... I want you to tell your 23 million followers to follow me."

After first promoting the release of his new album Believe on June 19th. Bieber finally complied, tweeting from @justinbieber at 8:18 that morning:
    "Everyone follow my man @mlauer

Matt Lauer had quietly signed up for twitter the day before, but said he had "zero followers." Lauer said that NBC's director of digital news operations, Ryan Osborne would streak in the studio if he can gain over 750,000 followers by Tuesday, June 19.

I found Lauer's account before the Bieber blitz and clicked to follow his tweets, taking this screen shot showing 85 followers. Joining right before me were: Amanda Wright @adwritght10, Susan @savedbygraceto, Carrie Mitchell @MonsterPuma, and Lauren Boudreau @LBoudreauu.

"We're going to see the power of Justin Bieber by Tuesday," said Lauer.

Within three minutes, while Bieber typed away, Lauer announced: "We have 9,000 already, okay? And this has been going on for three minutes... Ryan, start taking your clothes off."

Within five minutes, Matt Lauer had 30,753 followers and was trending.

Only one day later, on Saturday, June 16, @mLauer had over 131,000 followers. Today, he has nearly 140,000. Although he won't reach the 750,000 mark he had hoped for, it's still quite impressive.

Will Matt Lauer remember me, having been one of the first 100 to follow him on twitter? Nah, probably not. It's fun trivia, though, just another story for tvgrrrrl's files.

Bieber will be back on NBC on Wednesday and Thursday nights, June 20th and 21st, for his All Around the World tour TV special airing at 8 p.m. each night. (NBC can be found on channels 4 and 1020 in Orlando on Brighthouse Cable.)

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