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Zayn Malik’s One Direction Exit Stirs Up Social Charts

One Direction has had quite the week on Billboard's social charts after news of Zayn Malik's departure from the group was announced on March 25. The news broke on One Direction's official Facebook…

One Direction has had quite the week on Billboard’s social charts, after news of Zayn Malik’s departure from the group was announced March 25. The news broke on One Direction’s Facebook page in a post that has received more than 750,000 likes through April 1.

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On Twitter, there were more than 10.3 million tweets about Malik and One Direction on March 25 alone. And there was so much activity about the group and its departing member on Twitter that two new 1D songs debut on the weekly Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart: “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” comes in at No. 18 while “Spaces,” a song shared specifically for Malik’s line where he sings “who’s gonna be the first to say goodbye?” comes in at No. 8 after spending more than two hours in the No. 1 spot on the real-time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart. Malik himself is primed to make his solo debut on a weekly chart next issue, as a demo of his song “I Won’t Mind” hit No. 1 on the real-time chart on March 30.


The swell in activity sends the group straight to the top 10 of the Social 50 chart (22-6 — their highest rank since the Jan. 3 chart, when they also ranked at No. 6), with across-the-board increases in nearly every metric, including a 191 percent increase in fan acquisition overall and more than a million mentions on Twitter (up 214 percent from the previous week).

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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.

Other notable movements on the Social 50 include Nick Jonas, who ascends 50-24 (his highest rank on the tally to date) after back-to-back televised appearances. He first hosted and performed on Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards on March 28 and then performed again the next day on NBC’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, singing his latest single “Chains” on both shows.

Martin Garrix makes a No. 21 re-entry (his highest ranking since the Dec. 13-dated chart) after a heavy presence at Ultra Music Festival, which took place in Miami over the March 27-29 weekend. Garrix earned a 230 percent bump in reactions on Instagram after a short video of him and Tiesto crashing their boat into David Guetta’s private dock made headlines, bringing more than 2.5 million likes for the week.

Back in the Social 50’s top 10, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber remain at Nos. 1-3 respectively, while Selena Gomez ascends (6-4) over Rihanna (5-4). Katy Perry tumbles (5-7) to come in just above Nicki Minaj who holds at No. 8. Miley Cyrus climbs 10-9 while Beyonce rises 11-10 to anchor the region.