In the social media universe, Gomez is already a superstar. She has nearly 6 million Twitter followers and 20.5 million “likes” on Facebook. While those numbers are below those of her boyfriend Justin Bieber — 10 million and 28.6 million, respectively — she is the Internet queen of Disney. On Twitter, Demi Lovato is followed by 3.3 million and Joe Jonas by 2 million. On Facebook Cyrus counts 13.9 million likes; the Jonas Brothers, 8.7 million.
“The key to Facebook is ‘like’ and Selena has the highest likability of any artist we have ever worked with. It crosses over into all of her business,” Konowitch says. “It’s a gift. And she has it at a level that is remarkable.” On Vevo, her video for “Who Says,” posted in March, has been watched more than 37 million times. The clip for “Naturally,” the first single of her career, has been viewed 104 million times and “A Year Without Rain” has been clicked on nearly 68 million times.
Gomez also recently lit up the Internet when photos from her vacation with Bieber were posted just days after the couple shared their first public kiss at the May 24 Billboard Music Awards. Compared with the nude shots of “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens and Cyrus’ bong photos, the Gomez-Bieber pictures were child’s play. Gomez takes it in stride.
“I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet,” Gomez says, noting she does all of her own tweets. “I don’t like it in general — it’s vicious. But it’s also incredible that I can connect with fans, because I love to hear their feedback and let them know about my life.”
The challenge now for Fox 2000 and Hollywood Records is to convert those online fans into actual consumers.