A marketing dream for Twitter, for Ashton Kutcher and, almost by accident, for CNN. With prizes now on offer to the millionth follower of either Kutcher or CNN, what was a genuine phenomenon has been turned into a manufactured competition. Thing is, one cannot now unfollow either of them.
This last aspect just illustrates how artificial the race has become. Many commenters at TechCrunch seem to think this is a good idea and that by not allowing users to unfollow these Twitts it avoids a mad frenzy of people quickly following and unfollowing in the desperate hope of being that one millionth follower. But this is completely dumb! All that will happen - and most probably already is - is that people will create multiple user accounts and follow both with each new account. Watch the followers plummet after the competition is over.
Surely Twitter's database is not so fragile that they can't figure out the millionth user from a simple query, even if people follow and unfollow quickly? It smells to me like a way to speed up reaching the million mark before people get bored. Twitter might have a problem counting up to a million as one screenshot shows CNN already having 1,963,482 followers, which one assumes is a million too many but also highlights a counting issue.
Why is Ashton Kutcher so popular? Yeah, I looked up who he is in the vain hope of an interesting celebrity. I guess one moral lesson is to use your psychological problems to make a career in the media rather than in prison.