The biggest Twitter winners and losers of 2018

1 week ago by James Mattone in Features, Trends

2018 was a big year for Twitter ($NYSE:TWTR); just to name a few major events for the social media platform, its CEO said it wants to rethink the whole "core" of the website, the methodology for how Tweets are ordered on a user's timeline changed multiple times, and the platform started policing itself more, banning people such as Alex Jones for repeated violations.

It was also a big year for Twitter's users. While we don't know the lives and stories of hundreds of millions of people who use the service, we do track nearly a million accounts that range from the biggest sports superstars to Fortune 500 company accounts. In the months leading up to midnight of the New Year, some of these accounts saw their followers boom, while others look ready for a fresh start in 2019.

Here were some of the biggest winners and losers on Twitter, broken down into two tiers by the number of followers they have:

1,000,000+ Followers

Winner: Kylian Mbappe

Followers (Jan. 3): 2,311,535

Q4 (Oct. to Dec.) 2018 Increase: 276,210

Q4 2018 Increase (%): 13.681%

Months after winning the FIFA Best Young Player Award, Mbappe ended his stellar 2018 by winning the newly minted Koba Trophy, which is now awarded to the best under-21 player in France. 

Loser*: Russell Wilson

Followers (Jan. 3): 5,401,030

Q4 2018 Decrease: 48,731

Q4 2018 Decrease (%): 0.894%

As the Seattle Seahawks entire the NFL Wild Card round against the Cowboys, their star quarterback Russell Wilson's Twitter follower count continues to dwindle. The Quarter-over-Quarter % drop is the most out of all 1,000,000+ follower accounts we track.

However, Russ doesn't have much to worry about; that % drop is less than a full percent, he still has over 5 million followers and is taking home as much as a $15.5 million payday this year. And who knows? Maybe he rips apart the Dallas Defense in a highlight-worthy fashion and gets a huge following boost, or finally brings a ring home for Seattle after they decided not to give the ball to Marshawn at the 1-yard-line a half decade ago.

Winner: Tesla ($NASDAQ:TSLA)

Followers (Jan. 3): 3,215,285

Q4 2018 Increase: 229,238

Q4 2018 (%): 7.494%

As the new Model 3's ship out, Elon Musk's Tesla has continued to pick up traction on Twitter. The company may be facing issues with its stock lately, but at least it is still generating a buzz.

Loser*: Dropbox ($NASDAQ:DBX)

Followers (Jan. 3): 2,311,535

Q4 2018 Decrease: 276,210

Q4 2018 Decrease (%): 0.89%

What is happening with the Y Combinator darling that helped cloud storage and file hosting on the internet reach new heights only a decade ago? Not only is Dropbox' social media following facing a continued decline, its stock fell below its IPO opening price of $21 at the time of writing. 

100,000+ Followers

Winner: Discord ($BLOCKCHAIN:DISCORDAPP)

Followers (Jan. 3): 952,531

Q4 2018 Increase: 100,812

Q4 2018 (%): 11.934%

Discord is a voice, video, and text app that is geared towards gamers, but fills the roles of a chat room service similar to that of Skype ($NASDAQ:MSFT) and Slack ($SLACK).

Its social media is known for gaming memes and quirky replies, and with that in mind, it's no surprise that it is close to hitting a million followers on Twitter. What this could mean for its chances against dethroning Skype and Slack are negligible, yet symbolic, as Discord is slowly but surely winning over the hearts of those looking for a late night joke and a quality chat room platform.

Loser: KT Corporation ($NYSE:KT)

Followers (Jan. 3): 138,101

Q4 2018 Decrease: 138,574

Q4 2018 Decrease (%): 5.634%

This Korean telecommunications company hasn't been embroiled in any controversy as far as we know, yet its following took a 5%+ decline over the past three months.

Winner: Hitachi

Followers Combined (Jan. 3): 3,215,285

Q4 2018 Increase: 229,238

Q4 2018 (%): 7.494%

Hitachi runs three separate accounts on Twitter: a U.S. account, a Global account, and a consulting account. Between those three accounts, the multinational conglomerate has seen over 200,000 follow them to get the latest updates on everything they do from robotics to agriculture to even "magic wands".

Loser: Vineyard Vines ($VINEYARDVINES) / Chubbies ($CHUBBIESSHORTS)

Followers (Jan. 3): 223,353 / 111,996

Q4 2018 Decrease: 2,745 / 1,767

Q4 2018 Decrease (%): 1.213% / 1.552%

We're bundling these last two companies as they are most likely to be worn together by some New Englander named Chad. 

It apparently isn't the cold weather that's freezing out these private beach or yacht-club appropriate apparel companies; both companies have seen a dramatic decline in Twitter followers over the past year.

What could be behind these follower losses? We're unsure; to state the facts, Vineyard Vines Tweets out coupons and other info every day, while Chubbies keeps their tweets to one every few days as of late. Also, both have faced  issues with imitators in 2018, but again, that doesn't explain a drop in followers.

(Thinknum subscribers can see the full list of all accounts we track, their followers, and how much they've changed over specific time periods here)

James Mattone

James is a recent Boston University graduate who calls the world of esports and video games his home. As a young journalist, he has already covered two E3 expos a...

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