One Direction are the most followed UK band on Twitter, the most popular group ever to have come out of The X Factor, and the biggest boy-band in the world today.
One key to their success is their deft use of social media; in every concert, the band have a section where they take questions from Twitter and answer them live on stage. Syco Records head Sonny Takhar sees Twitter as the reason for the band’s success: “Social media has become the new radio… it's never broken an act globally like this before."
The One Direction feature film ‘This is Us’ premieres in London tonight. Before the boys hit the big screen and the Twitterverse collapses in a huge, collective ‘Squee!’, RadioTimes.com gives you the numbers behind the phenomenon.
3rd place – Position of One Direction in 2010’s X Factor final.
2nd place – Position of JLS in 2008’s X Factor Final. JLS, the ‘other’ boy-band to have found success through The X-Factor, barely scrape a million followers on Twitter. While One Direction’s star rises, JLS’s appeal grows more ‘selective.’ On Sunday, JLS singer JB Gill desperately plugged his group’s new “greatest hits” CD, tweeting: “Who's excited about the super deluxe greatest hits!!” It seems no-one’s that excited – his message was only ‘favourited’ 155 times. For a point of comparison, One Direction’s Harry Styles tweeted on Saturday that he had quite enjoyed his lunch (“The greatest sandwich to ever have been eaten”). It was favourited 86,299 times.
5 – members of One Direction. They are: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson. As yet, there is no Beatles-style ‘the pretty one, the moody one’ recognition guide for beginners, but it’s only a matter of time.
32 – age of both radio DJ Lucy Horobin, and presenter Caroline Flack when they dated Harry Styles in 2011 (not at the same time). He was 17 at the time, giving both relationships a 15-year age gap.
28 – Louis Tomlinson’s shirt number. Earlier this month, Tomlinson was taken on by his local football team, Doncaster Rovers, as a development player. Tomlinson used to play Sunday league football for pub team Three Horseshoes. After finding pop success, he bought the team. Tomlinson is understood to see himself as a right-footed left winger.
50: Percentage of active Twitter users who follow at least one musician.
88 – Tattoos. This is only a rough estimate (as there may be ‘personal’ tattoos we don’t know about). The generally held breakdown has Harry in the lead with over 35 tat’s, followed by Zayn, who has more than 30, then Louis (15-ish), Liam (3), and the miraculously un-inked Niall (0).
98 – One Direction’s collective age. Louis (21) is the oldest, Harry (19) is the youngest.
24.7 million – Unique Twitter followers. These are spread across 6 separate Twitter accounts (one each, and one for the band). Harry Styles has the biggest share (14.9 million, beating @OneDirection’s 13.9 million) and Zayn Malik has the least (9.7 million). They’re outperformed by a number of solo artists (most notably Justin Bieber, with 42.7 million), but even Zayne Malik out-strips former ‘King of Twitter’ Stephen Fry, who has a mere 6 million.
500 million – Number of registered Twitter users, as of 2012. This means that approximately one in twenty Twitter accounts follows a One Direction account.