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Oprah Gets to a Million Twitter Followers, But What Does It Mean?

Thanks to Ad Age's @simondumenco (that's Simon Dumenco for those of you not on Twitter), I've been made aware of the fact that yesterday, Oprah Winfrey passed the one-million-followers mark on Twitter, doing so in a world record one month-or-so. By contrast, it took @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher) what ... a year or more? (It should be noted that since passing the million mark last month, he is now at 1.7 million followers, no doubt benefiting from the Oprah effect.)

Certainly, this is a breakthrough for Oprah, but what does it mean for Twitter? Not as much as you'd think. I did some reporting this morning (well, clicked on a bunch of Oprah's followers' profiles), and it was just what I thought. Pretty much nothing -- a gaping void of people who aren't doing much, if anything, with it. Though there were plenty of people who had never posted, my favorite was the person who had done one post, which simply said, "They're ." They're what? Eating breakfast? Going out for a walk? Not on Twitter?

The case of the inactive Oprah followers dovetail perfectly with a recent Nielsen Online report saying that 60 percent of Twitter users drop off the service within a month. As that report came out at the end of last month, when Oprah-Twitter mania was just beginning, the addition of scores of inactive Oprah followers since that time actually could make that number spike higher.

Of course, for some of the people who joined Twitter because of Oprah, Twitter will stick, because they'll get the critical mass of followers and people who they follow that make Twitter work. But the rest, will probably continue to mostly encounter Oprah the old-fashioned way ... on TV.

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