The race to a million Twitter followers is on

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As of today, three Twitter users have over 750,000 followers: CNN Breaking News, Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher. With Twitter’s growth continuing to explode, one of them is likely to surpass the million follower mark sometime soon.

Yesterday, Don Dodge wrote that based on current growth rates, he thinks Kutcher will surpass the mark on April 21. Kutcher still trails Spears but has been gaining users faster than she has recently. This is probably due to the fact that he actually uses Twitter regularly and has over 1,300 updates versus Spears’ 107. Still, Spears follows some 77,000 people, while Kutcher keeps his follow list to a trim 60 people.

But both of them will probably be beaten to the mark by CNN Breaking News, which at over 850,000 followers, has nearly 100,000 more than Kutcher and over 50,000 more than Spears. And that’s music to my ears because while celebrity updates may be entertaining to some extent, the real power of Twitter lies in its ability to quickly disseminate information, and that’s exactly what CNN Breaking News is doing.

Still, it seems all but inevitable that celebrities will eventually dominate the list of the most-followed users on Twitter. Looking at the leaderboard kept by Twitterholic (which seems to be a bit behind, but is pretty accurate overall), 6 of the top 10 Twitter users (in terms of followers) are now celebrities (7 if you count Barack Obama). But if you look farther down the top-user list, you’ll see quite a few celebrities like Russell Brand, LeVar Burton and Fred Durst who are skyrocketing up the leaderboard despite signing up very recently. I suspect that will continue as more celebrities hop on the bandwagon.

While it can certainly be argued that the number of followers you have it just a vain statistic, Kutcher’s people at Katalyst Media (the startup he co-founded), say he now has influence over 10 percent of all Twitter uers. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it. Of everyone using Twitter, over 10 percent see Ashton Kutcher’s updates in their stream.

More incredible will be if Kutcher actually does get to a million users by Dodge’s April 21 date. That would mean he would have added 250,000 followers in just two weeks. That might be a tall order, even with Twitter’s growth, but it’s clear that the race to a million is well underway. And soon celebrities will dominate the million-follower club.

You can find me on Twitter here along with fellow VentureBeatniks Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Camille Ricketts, Terrence Russell, Dan Kaplan and Matt Marshall. We have a VentureBeat account (for our posts) as well.


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