Last week, Grand Prairie-raised pop star Selena Gomez became the most-followed celebrity on Instagram -- and, nothing has slowed down for her in the days that have followed. Since the news broke, she's still ahead, but running neck-and-neck with friend and former first place holder Taylor Swift, both having racked up an additional million-plus followers in about 7 days.
While the homegrown star's popularity rose dramatically throughout 2015, the number seems astounding. When it comes to the social media platform, she's been launched into the same orbit -- and eclipsed -- some of the biggest names in pop culture today: As of March 21, Gomez boasts 70.8 million followers to Swift's 70.1, with Kim Kardashian West and fellow Texan Beyonce Knowles at 64.4 and 64.1.
So, what's her secret? Vanity Fair credits "the Justin factor," referencing her off-again ex-boyfriend's hoard of "Beliebers" who "monitor her every move." For what its worth, Bieber's own Instagram account clocks in at a mere 62.4 million followers. But, there may he a hint of truth to the somewhat patronizing suggestion. The Internet couldn't keep its "hands to itself" Sunday when Bieber posted a throwback photo featuring the former couple engaged in an intimate kiss and the caption "Feels."
And, Gomez was among the millions who "liked" it.
Wild speculation about a potential reconciliation immediately followed. But, Gomez went on record in early February telling W Magazine she "care[s] about his health and well being," but constant questions about their former relationship are exhausting.
If it's not Bieber, at least not entirely, what makes Gomez a viral star?
Vanity Fair hits on a few other suggestions, most notably her posts' "relatable content" and specifically their humorous, often self-deprecating captions. Even during her most glamorous moments, whether on a red carpet or at a special private event, Gomez's account often offers a personal, transparent look at her life.
The theory seems to pan out: These were all posted within the last six weeks, all garnering millions of fans' "likes."