What do 2.5 million Twitter followers get you? If you're Soulja Boy, it gets you a barely tepid 13,000 in first-week sales of your new album and a debut at No. 90 on the Billboard 200. "The DeAndre Way" sold 2,000 digital copies and 11,000 physical in the United States, according to SoundScan, in the week following its Nov. 30 release. His last album, "iSouljaBoyTellem" (2008), sold 45,000 the first week -- 2,000 digital and 43,000 physical.
Now to be fair, Soulja Boy is very much a singles artist. "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)" was the 14th best-selling digital song of all time with more than 4.6 million downloads. But even the first single from "The DeAndre Way" -- "Pretty Boy Swag" -- didn't stack up, with 590,000 downloads since it first went on sale in June. Track sales from the new album total 718,000.
So does this below-expected outing mean that Twitter follower stats are becoming as meaningless as MySpace friend stats have become? Hard to say just yet. Twitter remains an unparalleled channel of fan communication, as evidenced by the dominance by music acts in the top 10 most retweeted tweets of the year, which were recently unveiled by the company.