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Look Out, Oprah: Ellen’s a Tweet Thang

April 26, 2009 7:05 PM

What was with all the hubbub surrounding Oprah Winfrey’s entrance into the Twittersphere earlier this month? Heck, fellow talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been quietly amassing Twitter followers since her Twitter debut in early March.

Ellen DeGeneres

At press time, Ms. DeGeneres had 1,091,826 Twitter followers, while Ms. Winfrey has amassed nearly half that many in about seven days. Ms. DeGeneres is using her Twitter feed to give her fans more access to the show, which will celebrate its 1,000th episode Friday with a visit from Matthew McConaughey and the sale of a T-shirt emblazoned “Laugh. Dance. 1,000th.,” with proceeds going to the Humane Society of the United States. Celebrity tweets generally do give some backstage perspective, but Ms. DeGeneres’ feed is going so far as to put fans on-camera, turning her Twittering into a game that’s part scavenger hunt, part “Let’s Make a Deal.” So far, Ms. DeGeneres has rolled several Twitter segments into her show, offering free tickets to fans who subscribe to her feed and undertake challenges at certain times. “Twitter has allowed the show to engage the viewers even more by seamlessly integrating the content into the show,” Telepictures Productions President Hilary Estey McLoughlin said. “We plan on using this digital tool as well as others that enhance the viewers’ experience while remaining organic to the show.”

—Andrew Krukowski

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