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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Superstar Rajinikanth makes Twitter debut, nears 2 lakh followers

IANS  Chennai, May 05, 2014
First Published: 15:07 IST(5/5/2014) | Last Updated: 14:55 IST(11/5/2014)

Ahead of the release of his much-talked about film Kochadaiiyaan, cinematic icon Rajinikanth Monday joined Twitter to make his presence felt in the digital world. He says he's looking forward to catch up on the "best Rajini one-liners".

He will engage with his fans via his handle @SuperStarRajini

"I decided to start with Twitter because I felt that the platform is abuzz with all the news and the trends that happen across the globe and I'm told that this is where all the best Rajini one-liners are," the 63-year-old said in a statement. 

One of India's most prolific and influential superstars, Rajinikanth's mass popularity and appeal is largely drawn from his mannerisms and stylised dialogue delivery. The usually reticent star is looking forward to interacting with his fans on the platform.

"I've always believed that my career graph is a miracle I owe my fans. I have been contemplating joining the social media platform for a while to connect with them, hear what they have to say and share my thoughts. Unfortunately, I never got around to it until now," he said. 

Thalaivar, as he is lovingly called, has partnered with CA Media Digital's first venture, Fluence - a celebrity digital network, which will manage his digital presence. 

"I am confident that I have the best team and the best guides who will help me connect with my audience," said the superstar. 

Twitter's India Market director Rishi Jaitly said: "We welcome Rajinikanth to Twitter, are happy to support his launch on the platform, and look forward to watching him use our mobile service to engage in live, public conversations with fans and other icons around the world." 

To make Rajinikanth's debut on Twitter more exciting, fans from all over the world, who follow him on @SuperStarRajini in the first week, will receive a 'WelcomeGraph', a personalised welcome picture from the icon. 

His new film Kochadaiiyaan, directed by his younger daughter Soundarya R Ashwin, is releasing Friday. Touted as the country's first 'photo-realistic performance capture' movie, the movie has generated interest with its new format. 




Most followed
Internationally, while singer-actor Katy Perry leads the ‘Most Followed’ list on Twitter with over 52.7mn ­followers, actor Amitabh Bachchan (at No. 98 on the World’s Top 100 ­followed list with 8.6mn followers) holds the top slot in India. The next three ‘most followed’ slots are bagged by the three ‘Khans of Bollywood’ — Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.

Quickest follower base
Iron Man aka Hollywood superstar Robert Downey Jr, who joined Twitter on April 12 last month, was the fastest to gain 1 million ­followers in less than 24 hours. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who signed up on Twitter  in 2010, had over a lakh followers in less than 24 hours but is not quite active on the site, with just 390 tweets, so far.

Joined before their films’ release
Much like Rajini, who joined Twitter just before the release of his film, Kochadaiyaan, Shah Rukh Khan created his handle, @imsrk on January 3, 2010, just before the release of his film My Name is Khan, reportedly at the insistence of Karan Johar. Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone, too, started getting active on Twitter in 2010 just before Karthik Calling Karthik released. 

And the jokes continue...
As ‘Saar’ joined Twitter, the microblogging site went abuzz with the all-famous Rajinikanth jokes:

Twitter is trending on Rajinikanth 
What? @superstarrajini is on Twitter? *Now waiting for tweet with 14,000 ­characters*
There was a thunderstorm in Delhi a few hours ago confirming that @twitter has joined @superstarrajini . All the best and welcome.
@superstarrajini doesnt need to follow you to send a DM. He just has to think of it.
People spreading false rumours that Rajinikanth is on twitter. Actually, twitter is on rajinikanth. @superstarrajini
Twitter requests @superstarrajini not to tweet until they upgrade server capacity. So we’ll have to wait a bit.

(With inputs from Debasmita Ghosh)

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