Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The UK was abuzz with One Direction fever today as thousands of fans descended upon London’s Leicester Square. They flocked to the London landmark for the premiere of the band’s new film ‘One Direction: This Is Us’, hoping to catch a glimpse of Harry, Zayn, Louis, Niall and Liam.

But the crowds in Leicester Square were dwarfed by the conversation about the film on Twitter. Fans from all over the world came together on the platform to share in their excitement about the #1DMoviePremiere:

  • There have been more than 3.6 million Tweets about the band and the premiere today
  • The giant screen in Leicester Square recorded more than two million Tweets about the event itself this evening
  • The hashtag #1DMoviePremiere has been used on Twitter more than 1.9 million times over the last 24 hours
  • A Q&A with the band yesterday saw the hashtag #1DMovieChat used more than 400,000 times in the space of an hour
  • Terms including ‘Leicester Square’, ‘London’ and ‘#1DMoviePremiere’ have been trending in the UK and worldwide over the course of the day

One Direction is the most followed UK band on Twitter with more than 14 million followers. Each of the members also have their own accounts with between ten and 15 million followers each:

Between them, these accounts have a total of more than 24.8 million unique followers - more than the population of Australia. There is also a dedicated Twitter account for the movie - @1DThisIsUs, which has more than two million followers.

The band’s following on Twitter has become synonymous with their rise to fame and the film’s director Morgan Spurlock (@MorganSpurlock) chose to include a section in the film dedicated to the platform.

The clip, voiced by Simon Cowell, describes how the band used Twitter to grow their international following and achieve international success after coming second in the 2010 UK X Factor competition. The band’s first studio album ‘Up All Night’ made One Direction the first British group in US chart history to enter at number one with their debut album.

As fans came together in London and on Twitter to celebrate the premiere, organisers featured a giant Twitter counter in Leicester Square and in cinemas around the UK, to share the scale of the global conversation about the film. They also used the giant screen to display Tweets, and photos about the band from their army of fans around the globe:

Each of the band members took the opportunity to share their excitement and thanks with their followers during the course of the evening:

Harry Styles (@Harry_Styles):

Zayn Malik (@zaynmalik):

Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne):

Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial):

Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson):

There was also a special tweeting mirror on the premiere’s red carpet, capturing behind-the-scenes shots of the band and VIP guests and tweeting them out from the @1DThisIsUs account. The mirror brought fans of the band from across the world closer to the premiere than ever before - here’s a selection of the shots captured on the red carpet:

Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial):

Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne):

Zayn Malik (@Zaynmalik):

Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell):

Little Mix (@LittleMixOffic):

Morgan Spurlock (@MorganSpurlock):

Like many musicians, One Direction use Twitter as a way to get closer to their fans and in turn, their fans use Twitter as a way to share their passion for the band. Following a band on Twitter is the closest thing to being backstage. It gives artists control over their communications and means that they can speak directly with fans in an unprecedented way.

Seven out of the ten most-followed Twitter accounts worldwide belong to musicians and half of all active Twitter users follow at least one musician. The most-followed musical genres by artist in 2012 were hip-hop, R&B, and pop, so whatever your taste, you can get closer to your favourite musicians on Twitter.