Amitabh Bachchan’s Stardom and Social Media

Rajesh Lehakpure
Assistant Professor, Centre for Communication and Media Studies,
Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha (Maharashtra)

Abstract

Amitabh Bachchan is variously known as Megastar, BigB, and Angry Young Man. Soon, he may also be known as a Social Media person. He has been honored by the Internet and Mobile Association of India as the Social Media Person of the Year. That is also the basic objective of this research topic. The research methodology used in this research is a content analysis of the stardom of Bachchan on social media and observing and analyzing his blogs, twitter, and Facebook comments. With the help of social networking sites, the researcher has tried to identify his communication method with his fans. The conclusion of this research is that Big B uses social media to communicate with his fans and well-wishers. Bachchan says that social media is a big platform and a wonderful way to connect with his fans and well-wishers. He is one of the rare actors who is an active blogger and user of the different social media. He is 72 years old and very active on social media. He has 12.5 million followers on twitter, the maximum for any Bollywood actor. The Bachchan example proves that social media is a powerful tool for communication. He is the only actor in the film industry who is an active social media user and blogger and has taken the opportunity to thank his online fans. Each and every activity and every word about Bachchan make breaking news. That is real stardom for Bachchan.

Introduction

The new era of social media is very effective and the fastest communication tool. It has transformed the world. Techno-friendly communication connects one person to another globally. There are no boundaries. The Internet is driving the most exciting social and cultural transformations. In the first decade of the 21st century, the number of people connected to the Internet worldwide is over 2.4 billion. 140 million people throughout the world are active users of twitter. As of May 2015, twitter has more than 500 million users, out of which more than 302 million are active. The benefit of using twitter, blog, and Facebook is an immediate dialogue on any subject which is important; occasionally with feedback also. This research paper focuses on twitter, blog, and Facebook use by Amitabh Bachchan and tries to analyze with the help of his comments on social media why he becomes a social media star. This paper has tried to analyze the interaction between Amitabh Bachchan and his fans through social networking sites. Amitabh Bachchan is not only a great and popular actor but also a great and ideal personality in society.

Literature review

What is stardom: According to the Oxford dictionary, Stardom is the state or status of being a very famous or talented entertainer or sports player.

According to dictionary.com Stardom is the world or class of professional stars, as of the stage. The status of a star or pre-eminent performer.

According to Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus Cambridge University Press, Stardom is the quality of being famous, especially for being a singer, actor.

According to Hin-Khoj Dictionary App, Stardom is the status of being acknowledged as a star.

According to Shabdhkosh English-Hindi Dictionary, Stardom is the status of being acknowledged as a star. The conclusion of all these definitions is that stardom is a status that acknowledges the ‘star’ quality of his fame.

Social sites

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. As of May 2015, twitter has more than 500 million users, out of which more than 302 million are regularly active. A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers. The blog social networking service was launched in February 2004. After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users, exchange messages, post status updates, and photos, share videos, and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists. Facebook had over 1.44 billion monthly active users as of March 2015.

Research methodology

For sampling50 different types of comments were selected which are available on social networking sites. The content analysis method was used to present an analytical view, category of comments, subjects of comments, and co-relation between the comments, events, and the media impact.

Bachchan’s comments on a special occasion

‘BachchanBol’ is the official blog of Amitabh Bachchan. He started blogging on April 15, 2008, and he has been continuously doing so for the last seven years. He shared his comments on April 15, 2015, in the words reproduced below:

-“7 years of constant and daily writing and the revelation of the formation of a family so devoted and dedicated to us all… extraordinary!! 7 years… is an insane amount of time… but it has to be more than just providing life and moments and opinions… it has to be ‘me’… or else…,” he posted on his blog.

Bachchan’s Twitter comment on April 16, 2015 –

 T 1835 – Thank you all for your wishes for 7 years of Blogging !! It has been the most rewarding aspect of this medium .. !!

Bachchan’s Twitter comments on April 17, 2015-

T 1837 – 7 YEARS !! 7YEARS of continuous Blog ..!! Blessed to be in the company of EF and their affection !7 !! So auspicious…

T 1837 -SEVEN 7: 7 Samunder, 7 Rang, 7 Sur, .. and for me 7 years of the blog .. just so amazing .. never knew how time passed ..!!

Amitabh Bachchan has recently updated his Facebook status

” FB 935 – Today its been 7 years of my BLOG .. !!! “.

Amitabh Bachchan posted a comment on Twitter

“T 1817 -OKAAAYYY! 14 million on twitter !! 20 million on FB … 3 million on the blog .. 40 MILLION here I COME !!!! BADDDOOOOMMBA.”

Amitabh Bachchan Posting a picture on Facebook

“FB 917 – Chalo… ! 14 million ho Gaya twitter pe .. ! 20 million ho Gaya yahan FB pe … aur blog ke ho Gaye hain 3 million … Kul millaa ke, apni Choti si gaadi, pahunch Gaye hai 40 million pe .. !! (14 million on Twitter, 20 million on Facebook, 3 million on the blog … altogether our little car is on its way to 40 million.)

40 MILLION … !!! Thank you all.”

Analysis of Amitabh Bachchan’s comments on social media

  • Occasion/Subjects of Bachchan’s Comments on Social Media
  • Important National and International days, National and International festivals
  • Birthday of great personalities and friends circles on a national and international level (from the films industry and allied areas)
  • Death of great personalities and friends at national and international level(from films industry and allied areas)
  • National/International natural/man-made calamites.
  • Films launching (own and others also)
  • Bests wishes for films successes (most likely newcomers)
  • The success of Indian teams (of any game) at a national and international level competition.
  • Health problem of great personalities and friends at national and international level (from the films industry and allied areas)
  • Films promotion (own and other also)
  • Any family occasion which is important for society
  • Achieving any great award from friends
  • Personally achieving any award(national/international)
  • Incidents are closely related to ethics, culture, society, and any person.
  • Special wishes to family members, and also admirable activity of family members.
  • The sweet memory of travels in India and abroad.
  • Non-political and non-controversial issues
  • Issues related to children, youth, students, women, poor and needy people
  • Response to fans and well-wishers.
  • Regular availability on social networking sites.
  • Regular writhing/comments on social networking sites.
  • Sharing moments during film shooting.
  • Current issues before the society.
  • Issues related to patriotism, unity, and integrity of India
  • Photos related to old and current ceremonies
  • Thanks to all fans and well-wishers and helping persons.
  • Sharing personal experiences and other special moments of life.
  • Award functions
  • Issues related to animal safety
  • Use and effect of new technology and power of social media.
  • Daily routine  and self-discipline
  • Father, a great personality
  • Past and present self-experience

Area-wise percentage of comments

This paper selected 50 different types of comments available on social networking sites. All those comments are current. The break-up: films related issues 18, personal life-related issues 10, national issues 5, international issues one, sport-related issues one, social issues 7, political issues one and persons close /friends related issues seven.

Area of comments Percentage of comments
Films related Issues 36
Personal life-related Issues 20
National Issues 10
International Issues 2
Sport-related Issues 2
Social Issues 14
Political Issues 2
Closed Person/Friends related Issues 14

Figure 1 Graph 01

Graph Indicators- FI- Films related issues, PI-Personal life-related issues, NI-National issues, II-International issues, SPI-Sport related issues, SI-Social issues, POLI-Political issues, CPI-Close persons related issues.

Percentage of social sites-wise comments

Fifty different types of comments were selected which are available on social networking sites likes Twitter, blog, and Facebook. Bachchan has interacted every day through blogs and twitter. But very few comments were posted on Facebook. Blog comments are related to films and the personal life of Bachchan. Fifteen comments were collected from the blog and only five comments were collected from Facebook. Some special comments posted on all three social sites are the same and also posted at the same time. Seven comments are the same and simultaneously posted on all three social sites.

Social Sites Quantity of Comments
Twitter 25
Blog 15
Facebook 05

Figure 2 Graph 02

Percentage of social sites-wise comments

This paper selected 50 different types of comments which are available on social networking sites. Bachchan interacted every day through blogs and twitter. The breakup is as follows: film-related issues 18 and includes nine comments on twitter, seven blog comments, and two comments on Facebook. Personal life-related issues 10 and include five comments on twitter, four blog comments, and one on Facebook. Five comments on national issues consisted of three comments on twitter, two on the blog, international issues with one posted on Twitter. Sport-related issues one and posted on twitter. Social issues totaled seven and consisted of three on twitter, three on the blog, and one on Facebook, one political issue posted on the blog. Issues related to close friends seven consists of three comments on twitter, three on the blog, and one on Facebook.

Figure 3 Graph 3 Films comments

Figure 4 Graph 4 Personal life comments

Figure 5 National Issues comments

Figure 6 social Issues comments

Figure 7 Closed Person Issues comments

Analysis of news

Amitabh Bachchan, who stays in touch with his fans on all mediums, crossed 20 million followers on Facebook. The 72-year-old uses the platform to share his thoughts and information related to his projects. He has been in the industry for over 40 years and has completed filming Shoojit Sircar’s directorial “Piku”. The movie, which also stars Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan, will hit the screen on April 30, 2015. His Facebook status got a huge number of likes and shares from people all across the world. Amitabh also shared the news of his completion of seven great years as a blogger. Amitabh Bachchan shared a black-and-white sketch of R Balki’s upcoming film ‘Shamitabh’ on his blog.

About ‘vocal blog’

Amitabh Bachchan has now launched a voice blog called ‘BachchanBol’ where he plans to regularly record the latest happenings in his life using his own voice. He told the BBC that he would record at least twice a week for his “vocal blog” and that he’ll continue to write his blog just as before. BachchanBol is a premium mobile service so you’ll have to pay around Rs.6 per minute. This may also mean that phone users outside India currently won’t have the facility to dial into Bachchan’s voice blog.

Some news titles are-

  • Amitabh Bachchan lashes out on social media, says not writing about Nepal quake for publicity!
  • Amitabh Bachchan recalls his ‘missing’ adventure on a railway station
  • Amitabh Bachchan prays for Dilip Kumar’s health
  • Jiah Khan’s sister Karishma Khan ready to make her Bollywood debut?
  • Amitabh Bachchan appeals to animal lovers to save elephant Bijlee
  • Jiah Khan suicide: Amitabh Bachchan disturbed and angry
  • Amitabh Bachchan: Pransaab is a gentleman to the core!

Conclusion

  • Bachchan has connected to blog and twitter mostly for a social cause.
  • Bachchan has everyday interacted through blogs and twitter as compared to Facebook.
  • Bachchan is connected to millions of fans and well-wishers on many occasions.
  • Bachchan tweeted or posted on social and films related issues.
  • National day and festivals are important occasions for Bachchan and his fans on social sites.
  • Bachchan mostly says ‘Man ki bat’ through the blog.
  • Bachchan’s writing touches the heart of every fan who is connected to social sites.
  • Bachchan shares his past and present experience of films.
  • Bachchan is an ideal teacher for all social site fans.
  • Bachchan shares his daily routines very honestly.
  • Bachchan posted his photos related to his special and sweet memories.
  • The causes of Bachchan’s stardom are his continuity on social sites, discipline, valuable and ideal life, social responsibility; he is not only a screen hero but also a real-life hero.
  • An academician, philosopher, ideal, and great personality.
  • Bachchan touches each and every area through social sites with his writings.

References

  • Evan, 2013- Tom Evans. (2012). My 2013 Prediction, Social Media AS Behaviour Not Destination. PSFK. Retrieved on 28th Jan 2013.
  • Istanboulian, 2012- AniIstanboulian. (2012). A New Power: How Celebrities Can Use Social Media to Influence Social Movements. University of Southern California Digital Library.
  • Jayson DeMers. (2013). The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. Forbes
  • Marshall, 1997- P. David Marshall. (1997). Celebrity and Power. University of Minnesota Press. Social Science.
  • Morgan N, Jones G, Hodges H. (2012) Social Media: The Complete Guide to Social Media from The Social Media Guys. Creative Commons Attribution
  • Social Media Asia,2013-www.socialmediaasia.com/2013/10/04/twitters-ipo-showcases-chinese-growth-hurdles/
  • The Star, 2014- The Star Online. (2013). Social Media Butterflies: Top 10 Most Popular Celebrities on Social Media in Malaysia. The Star Publication. Retrieved on April 2014
  • BachchanBol’ Blog of Amitabh Bachchan
  • Amitabh Bachchan Facebook
  • Amitabha Bachchan twitter
  • srbachchan.tumblr.com
  • Wikipedia
  • News portals of ‘The Hindu’
  • News portals of ‘The Times of India’
  • Online News of NDTV

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