The Rise and Rise of Spoof Twitter Accounts

When the Oscars came and went in February, the lasting impression was not Meryl Streep receiving her third Oscar, but THAT leg. Angelina Jolie’s leg received so much media coverage that it actually managed to set up its own Twitter account. And the strangest thing of all is that the world over loved it, the account now has over 47,000 followers, not bad for a limb. If so many people are following the famous leg, who does a famous leg follow? Well apparently it only follows two other tweeters, Bradley Cooper’s Moustache and JLos’s Nipple. Neither account has been as popular as “the leg” with under a thousand followers for the tash and just over 5,000 for JLo’s nipple.

Are these types of accounts really sustainable?

That Leg! (credit - http://www.hindustantimes.com)

Angelina’s leg has now gone all political and likes to tweet about Hilary Clinton and the presidential race, although the news that Brangelina are getting hitched did spark some more tweets on Hollywood’s hottest couple.

But it isn’t just body parts that have started their own Twitter accounts. Parody accounts are becoming more and more popular. Spoof account, ‘Not Zuckerberg’ parodies social media giant Mark Zuckerberg and posts satirical digs at other social media platforms: “If you’re a psychic medium, you ought to sign up for Google+. It’s an online ghost town”, one of his latest tweets states.

Whoever thought of adding “the one who shall not be named” (aka Lord Voldemort) to Twitter is genius. The millions of crazed Harry Potter fans jumped on the opportunity to follow their literary nemesis and he now has well over two million followers. And he keep his followers happy by tweeting multiple times a day on anything from new technology to Potter related satire. He recently posted a picture of Emma Watson with her new beau Will Adamowicz sharing a quick smooch with the simple message “does Ron know?”

Tweeting from the Grave

And it seems dying long before the social media bug hit us all doesn’t mean you can’t have a twitter account. American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe regularly updates his 40,000 followers on anything from a personal rant to slating the new film based on the last few days of his life. He even likes to add the odd poetic thought such as “The two most glorious spoken words in English: “Drunk… again.””

But why are people so eager to follow these obviously fake accounts? Apart from the sheer hilarity of many of the accounts, a lot of them do have messages to tell. ‘Not Zuckerberg’ pokes fun at the social media world that Zuckerberg himself is responsible for creating and Voldemort keeps the Harry Potter saga going for many fans who are desperate to hold on to the magic world of witches and wizards.

But what really are the draws of tweeting body parts? They seem to be much timelier; they are quickly forgotten and become irritating. There are only so many times “I’m a leg” comes up in your twitter feed before it becomes rather annoying.

That said it seems that spoof accounts are here to stay and I’m sure many more people will jump on the bandwagon to create even more way out and satirical posts in the future using social media tools.

What about you? Do you follow any spoof accounts? Does your interest in them dwindle? Do you run one? Is it hard to keep the momentum going?

Laura Clarke is a blogger with a keen interest in all things social media currently working on behalf of Sentiment Metrics – a company that specialises in social media analytics.

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  • emc2

    A spoof account is all about fun. For example, taking inspiration about things at work or at home and turn them into something amusing, as well as the subject matter you are spoofing. Add in the interaction with others and you have something that is just a bit different in your day.

  • http://robzie.wordpress.com/ Rob Zaleski

    I personally have never followed any spoof accounts. However, in my daily trolling of the Twitterverse that I do on a daily basis, I mainly find that that people love to RT quotes. Either it strikes them as funny, or appropriate for the moment in their life, or it simply strikes a chord with them. Internet memes like the Willy Wonka and Y U NO? have numerous Twitter handles, some better than others. A big portion of it is that it allows the creator to become internet famous, in my personal opinion. Their own Twitter isn’t making them an internet superstar, so why not jump on a popular theme, make it a Twitter account and ride the wave. Who cares if it is anonymous, YOU know you’re (kinda) famous.

  • http://www.world-first.co.uk/ @WFTristan

    i have followed a few spoof accounts of the years – one of my favourites at the moment is @fatpatinthesky – a deceased eastenders character who is pretty funny.

  • http://twitter.com/Laura_Clarke89 Laura Clarke

    I agree, a spoof account does make you more famous than your real Twitter account may ever do! I have just taken a look at the @fatpatinthesky feed and it is pretty funny! People really will set up anything now wont they?!