Shakira and Rihanna's Single Rollout: How Their Social Networks Reacted

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Rihanna, Shakira

Both artists experienced changes on the Social 50 -- but which one experienced a gain?

Even though Rihanna is the featured act on Shakira’s new single, "Can't Remember to Forget You," the former’s online fan base reacted much stronger to the tune’s announcement, as measured by Billboard's Social 50 chart.

On the Social 50 chart, Rihanna jumps 10-4 largely because of a 362% increase in Instagram fans over the previous week. Shakira, on the other hand, slips 12-15 with a 11% decrease in overall score.

The primary reason Rihanna receives a much bigger Social 50 lift is because she has more followers on Facebook (84 million vs. Shakira’s 77.5 million) and Twitter (33.6 million vs. 23.4 million); thus, she’s at an advantage over Shakira when it comes to the sheer number of engaged fans. On Instagram, the gap is more pronounced, as Rihanna has 11.1 million followers versus Shakira’s 1.36 million.

Another reason for the difference in Social 50 placing could be owed to multiple posts of the same image by Shakira in both English and Spanish, which diluted their impact. Furthermore, because Shakira’s announcement was made during the early daylight hours in the U.S. there’s a larger proportion of her international fanbase who may have missed the announcement when it first appeared across Shakira’s social networks. That means more fans may have discovered the news elsewhere rather than seeing it from Shakira first.

Shakira, Rihanna's 'Remember' Roars at Radio

Lastly, when Shakira posted the announcement, she simply shared an image rather than linking it to her Instagram (like Rihanna), which would have caused a bigger response on the platform than she received.
Instagram’s power as an attention grabbing social platform that has the power to move artists up the Social 50 chart can be seen elsewhere on the Social 50 chart this week. Justin Bieber, who remains in the No. 2 spot (yet again barred from No. 1 by Miley Cyrus, who fills the position for the third week in a row), receives a 67% increase in his overall score mostly from Instagram. The surge was caused by reaction to a photo he uploaded with former girlfriend Selena Gomez on Saturday Jan. 4 -- just before the current charting week began.


While the jury’s out as to whether or not the two are actually back together, the attention from Bieber's fanbase (over 1.65 million likes on that single photo alone) causes Gomez to jump into the top 10 with an 11-3 move. On Facebook alone, she adds 1.8 million fans for the week, a 763% increase over the previous week.

The shakeup in the top 10 bumps Demi Lovato down a notch (4-5). Same goes for Ariana Grande (3-6) as well as One Direction (6-7), while Avril Lavigne climbs (15-8) amidst a 121% jump in overall fans for the week. Katy Perry slides (5-9) along with Eminem (9-10), who anchors.