Beyonce's Short Haircut Yields Big Social 50 Chart Gain

After a three-week hiatus from the Social 50’s top 10, Beyonce bounds 26-6 all thanks to a simple haircut.
 
The Social 50 ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views, song plays and reactions as measured by music analytics company Next Big Sound.

Following the conclusion of the North American leg of her Mrs. Carter Show world tour on Aug. 7, Beyonce posted several photos to her Instagram account that showed off a significantly shorter head of hair.

The diva’s suddenly shorn locks sent fans into a frenzy, igniting an online storm of discussion and debate. According to an article previously published by Billboard, opinions on the shear have ranged from praise-worthy support to fierce backlash. The reasons for fans’ fervent reaction, as pointed out in a piece for the Atlantic, has a lot to do with Beyonce’s effective way of building buzz around tightly controlled, intimate messages that stand out when contrasted to her image of fierce perfection.
 
The three pictures (posted within minutes of one another) have each received between 325,000 and 400,000 likes apiece, ushering in 199,000 new followers for Beyonce on Instagram in the week ending Aug. 11. That’s a 9% increase over the previous week. The total contributed to a 119% increase in weekly fan acquisition across the board, with 653,000 added.

Meanwhile, Drake makes a notable re-entry at No. 37 as he builds momentum for his upcoming album, “Nothing Was the Same,” due Sept. 17.

He returns to the chart courtesy of buzz generated by the set’s new single, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (featuring Majid Jordan). Drake earns a 115% gain in weekly fan acquisition and a 10% bump in weekly traffic to his Wikipedia page.
 
Formerly known as Good People, Majid Jordan (Toronto duo Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman) are signed to Drake’s OVO label and recently released its “Afterhours” mix tape. The set was first released in August 2012, but has since been revived and re-loaded to the Internet.
 
Both Katy Perry and Lady Gaga rallied their online fanbases during the Social 50 charting week in preparation for their just-released respective singles, “Roar” and “Applause.”

Perry vaults 9-3, her highest rank since she was No. 2 on the Oct. 20, 2012 chart. She rebounds with the addition of 700,000 new fans overall, a 52% increase over the previous week, that we’re likely to see continue into next week as she releases the lyric video for “Roar” to her Vevo channel.
 
Lady Gaga, meanwhile, rises 21-14 after a 42% rise in reaction on Facebook. That led to her adding 207,000 fans on the platform -- a 375% increase. As press time, the official audio for "Applause" had more than 9 million views on Gaga's official Vevo channel.

To finish recapping the top 10, Justin Bieber returns to the No. 1 spot after a two-week hiatus, bumping One Direction down to No. 4. Shakira descends 2-10, after the buzz generated by a snapshot of her new child had ceased. Justin Timberlake is also sliding down the list, falling 7-9. On the rise this week: Taylor Swift (6-2), Miley Cyrus (8-5) and Ariana Grande (10-7).

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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