For all of Demi Moore’s recent troubles, she might take comfort in knowing that her headline-making November breakup with Ashton Kutcher was NOT the recent celebrity split that attracted the most attention on Twitter.
Instead, that dubious honor may go to Katy Perry and Russell Brand, who went public with their breakup in late December. In the first 30 days after the pop star and British comedian announced their divorce, more than 2 million tweets emerged mentioning the kaput couple, according to an analysis of tweets on five recent celebrity breakups provided to ABC News by the Twitter tracking company Topsy Labs and the Web newspaper The Daily Dot.
In second place was reality star Kim Kardashian and her basketball player ex-beau Kris Humphries, whose October split generated more than 1.4 million tweets.
Tweets mentioning Kutcher and Moore (who still uses the Twitter handle “mrskutcher”) for the first 30 days after their breakup totaled just fewer than 300,000 — despite the fact that Kutcher was the first person to amass 1 million Twitter followers. Since that 2009 achievement, Kutcher has seen his total tweeple count eclipsed by both Perry and Kardashian, whose follower totals are well into the eight digits. Kutcher has 9.3 million while his ex, Moore, has 4.6 million.
Owen Thomas, the founding editor of The Daily Dot, said the Twitter breakup reaction stats seemed to reflect celebrities’ overall fame.
“It’s not how hip they are or how active they are on Twitter, it’s how many people know them, period,” he said.
But certain popular celebs shouldn’t expect Twitter to be a source of breakup solace. While it’s tough to track the exact content of all Twitter messages, Thomas said many of the tweets about Kardashian and Humphries’ 72-day marriage weren’t quite sympathetic.
“With Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, it was clearly, ‘Come on, what were you thinking?’” he said.
Users did, however, appear “bummed” about the breakup of singer Seal and supermodel Heidi Klum. News of their busted marriage last month generated half a million mentions in just eight days. (In an ABCNews.com vote asking readers which celeb breakup upset them the most, Seal and Klum ranked at the top.)
Thomas said that given Twitter’s ever-increasing reach — the micro-blogging site announced last year that it has 200 million total users — and the tendency of tweets to mention real names instead of Twitter handles, sentiment about celebs expressed on Twitter likely reflects sentiment felt by the public at large.
“It’s not the hardcore Twitter heads dominating the conversation,” he said. “It’s ordinary people.”