Rihanna’s Camp/Label Juicing Facebook ‘Likes’ For Publicity?

By Allen Starbury   /   Published 07/21/11

RihannaIt's believed that record labels have boosted first week album sales for years, all in an attempt to dictate public perception, and in turn, raise an artist's profile. But, are the majors now boasting fan/follower counts on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter?

That's exactly what's happening, according to Boston-based viral marketing firm ViralMS (ViralMS.com), which offers a service that allows users to purchase Facebook "fans."

Last Thursday (July 14), popstar Rihanna made headlines when she surpassed Lady Gaga to become the most popular female on Facebook, boasting over 40.6 million fans ... and to date, has reached 41.1 million.

However, was the singer's numbers juiced for publicity, and to dictate popularity in the social media world?

ViralMS confirmed to BallerStatus.com that their "Buy Facebook Fans" service (ViralMS.com) was purchased for Rihanna's official Facebook page (Facebook.com/Rihanna), just one day before she overtook Lady Gaga and made headlines.

We've obtained a snapshot of the transaction details of the order from the company's Paypal account (see here ), which shows that an order was placed for 100,000 fans -- the number Rihanna had passed Gaga by, at the time of our report -- for the cost of $7,799.

While ViralMS could not confirm who placed the order (due to privacy policy), they suggested the possibility that it was either a crazed fan, or Rihanna's camp/label. It's likely that the latter would be the logical answer.

Apparently, this is a normal practice ...and ViralMS has been offering it to high-profile clients since their launch in 2008. They say the "more fans they have the more popular they appear."

"We have a wide demographic of famous individuals who buy Facebook fans. Ever since we started the industry we have worked with high-profile actors, musicians, politicians, athletes, and even Fortune 500 companies," a rep for the company told us.

"Humans are historically social creatures and they form friendships with other humans," the rep added. "The Internet has given celebrities a way to really flex their muscles through social networks. The more fans they have the more popular they appear -- it's like a game to them, really."

ViralMS claims to receive orders to boost Facebook numbers from regular individuals on a daily basis, and from celebrities "every few weeks"; and on Twitter, the orders are coming in at an even higher volume.

On Twitter, Rihanna has more than 6.2 million followers and currently ranks at #13 among all users. Lady Gaga still reigns supreme on the social media site with 11.7 followers, with Justin Bieber at #2 and President Obama at #3.

The perception of more fans/followers seems to hold a lot of weight in today's world. If it didn't, services like those of ViralMS wouldn't be as successful as they are.

Inquiries to Rihanna's camp/label for comment were not answered at press time.

What's your take? Does a celebrity's fan and follower counts affect your decision to buy and/or support their products, music, movies, etc? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Selita29

    Gurl, bye. Everytime someone black achieves something it just HAS to be payolla. Fine benches & sit. 

  • http://twitter.com/luvRockstar101 Jason

    Shut the fuck up...I need receipts to justify your bullshit allegations. 

  • REAL N&GGAA

    This is the best example of a complete fucking dummy. If this nigga Jason actualy read the article, you woulda clicked the link with the "reciept" you cried about. lol, don't open your mouth until you read the whole story. Fucking loser. Reading a headline and commenting is completely fucking retarded. #SMDH

  • LB

    @Real N&GGAA LOL!

  • KIIIIIIIIIIII

    that's what gerls with no #1 albums do

  • Cokapoka131

    This has got to be the dumbest article I've ever read. She beat Gaga, GET OVER IT.

  • http://twitter.com/OoOshii ●๋•●shii™

    Fail. Every time Rihanna  does an achievement the media seems to overreact. I think they cant handle a black woman reigning.

    congrats hottie

  • Phillybro19141

    Im sure lady GAGA's pr firm bought some likes too

  • Phillybro19141

    Im sure lady GAGA's pr firm bought some likes too

  • Primajrockstar

    Gaga's already gonna pass her hah

  • Stewie Griffin

    Rihanna is a whore in life " her pics back this up " and now she's gunning for media whore. GaGa will be back on top again because her talent, sales and her fans will get her there without her people having to buy her way to the top.