We all know that Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift are the most followed celebrities on Twitter. Not surprisingly, they are household names in a large part of the world. But there are megastars who have large followings on the social media site that most of you have never even heard of.
These are the celebrities who have made it big in their own countries, but may have little or no international presence. Regardless, they still have fan bases that could rival that of the biggest Hollywood stars . Some of them even made it to this year's Forbes Celebrity 100 list!
Of course, Twitter is not exactly an accurate metric of fame. For example, there are Chinese celebrities who have way more followers than Katy Perry on China's version of the micro-blogging site, and not everyone is on social media (particularly in countries with low internet penetration), which makes their large followings even more impressive.
With that being said, here are some of the biggest stars on twitter you have not heard of:
1. Amitabh Bachchan Twitter followers = 17,994,864
A legend in India, Bachchan is regarded as one of the most influential actors in Bollywood. His name may be largely unknown outside of India, but his face may be vaguely familiar; he, after all, made an appearance in 2013's The Great Gatsby opposite Leonardo Di Caprio. He was also listed at number 71 in this year's Forbes Celebrity 100, having earned a staggering $33.5 million.
2. Salman Khan Twitter followers = 14,912,891
Another Indian movie star, Salman Khan actually tied with Amitabh at number 71 in the Forbes list, having also earned $33.5 million.
Salman may be described as movie royalty, since his father Salim Khan is a prominent Bollywood screen writer and actor, while his brothers Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan are also movie stars.
3. Ivete Sangalo Twitter followers = 13,848,205
Ivete is one of Latin America's biggest music stars. She is a Latin Grammy-Award winner and is one of the best-selling artists in Brazil. She is also quite popular in Portugal. So far, she has sold over 17 million records worldwide!
4. Alejandro Sanz Twitter followers = 12,84,607
Alejandro's name may be unfamiliar, but chances are you may have heard of his music. He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the international music scene. In 2005, he worked with Shakira on the song "La Tortura," which reached number one on several worldwide charts. In 2009, he released the song '"Looking for Paradise," which featured Alicia Keys. The single was also used in an episode of Ugly Betty.
Alejandro has won three Grammys, as well as fifteen Latin Grammys.
5. Raditya Dika Twitter followers = 12,327,816
Raditya is neither a movie star or a music star--he is, in fact, a stand-up comedian. That seems pretty unconventional, since he is the most followed celebrity on Twitter in his native Indonesia, and one of the most followed comedians on the site.
He is also an accomplished writer and producer, and is one of the hosts of Top Gear Indonesia.
So what do you think? Obviously there will be stars that were skipped; the majority of the big celebrities were from India and I tried to keep it as diverse as possible, otherwise this would purely be a Bollywood list.
But who knows--we may compile another list soon, so that you'll get to discover more famous stars you have not heard of.