Twitter CEO Elon Musk surpassed former President Barack Obama in followers on Thursday, making him the most followed person on the platform. At the time of writing, Musk has more than 133 million followers, according to SocialBlade which reported his count hovers at 40,000 more than Obama.
Musk’s surge in followers comes only five months after he purchased the platform for a record-breaking $44 billion and announced mass layoffs, auctioned off Twitter merchandise, and told users they will have to start paying for a blue checkmark on their account. Musk’s follow count continues to rise only two days before he removes the legacy verified blue checkmarks for those who don’t pay $8 per month or $84 per year.
Guinness World Records confirmed the achievement, saying in a post that out of the 450 million monthly active users on Twitter, roughly 30% now follow Musk, who is averaging 100,000 new followers per day. Musk’s biggest increase of a whopping 9.7 million followers came last April after he submitted an offer to buy Twitter and in November the numbers rose by an additional 6.9 million.
Musk continues to post tweets en masse, coming in at roughly 26 tweets per day on average, with 72 tweets posted on Monday. Meanwhile, Obama only posted 24 tweets over the duration of February.
Any opposition to Musk’s popularity on Twitter has reportedly been met with pushback and layoffs. Platformer reported last month that Musk fired one engineer who went so far as to say Musk’s tweets were getting less attention because the public’s interest in him was declining.
Multiple unnamed sources told the outlet Musk held a meeting with engineers and advisors, questioning why his tweets weren’t garnering what he considered to be appropriate attention.
“This is ridiculous,” he said, according to the sources. “I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions.” The sources claimed when the engineer told Musk why his numbers were tanking, the CEO allegedly told him, “You’re fired, you’re fired.”
Musk had also gathered engineers to find ways to boost the viewership and promote his tweets after President Joe Biden’s SuperBowl post received a higher like count than his, Platform also reported.
Now, having reached the all-time record for most followers, Guinness World Records reported this isn’t his first title, as earlier this year Musk was also awarded the record for the largest personal fortune loss in history.