We know who are the biggest names on Twitter, but who is hottest right now and why?

Last week, Forbes Magazine published their list of Social Networking Superstars, with big names like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Eminem snagging the top spots with their combined total of Twitter followers and Facebook fans. We took a look at the numbers in a different manner, to find who is growing the fastest on Twitter and may some day be giving these superstars a run for their money. 

The artists that simply gained the most new followers on Twitter last week were all big names. Top of the lists is California pop queen Katy Perry, with more than 415,000 new followers. Rihanna added close to 390,000 and Justin Bieber wasn’t far behind with more than 380,000. Lady Gaga trailed with less than 300,000 new fans, and Miley Cyrus, sporting her new blond hairdo, added close to 285,000. 


The list of artists that grew at the fastest rate looks exactly the same. However, the list of artists that are accelerating the fastest, in other words whose change in following is increasing at the highest rate, looks a little bit different. 

On this list Miley Cyrus snags the top spot - apparently haircuts are big on Twitter. Victoria Beckham, who performed with the reunited Spice Girls at the Olympic closing ceremony, comes in second. Third on the list is Taylor Swift, who released a new single that is already topping the iTunes charts, and announced her upcoming album Red in a live webcast on Monday. Rapper and record producer Tyler the Creator, who has a somewhat controversial handle and is highly active on the social network, comes in at number four, and shoring up the rear is Justin Timberlake, in the midst of planning his wedding with fiancé Jessica Biel.


(In the interest of full disclosure, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also made an appearance on this list, but given that he is not currently focused on building his musical career, was excluded from consideration.)

Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Westchester Magazine and more.