These days, social media platforms like Twitter are an integral part of K-Pop fandom life—but it wasn’t always that way. New data gathered and analyzed by K-Pop Radar shows how second, third, and fourth-generation groups use Twitter differently.
According to K-Pop Radar’s analysis, K-Pop began with Seo Taiji and Boys, who began “Generation 0” almost 30 years ago. Their debut came at the time of a revolution in mass culture, but since the internet hadn’t entered general use in 1992, fandom was solely offline-based.
Next came the first generation in 1996 with groups like Shinhwa, S.E.S, Sechs Kies, and G.O.D. While online fan communication did begin growing in closed circles, K-Pop was still predominantly an offline interest.
But everything changed when the second generation began, spanning 2003 to 2011 according to K-Pop Radar. With groups beginning to explore global success from 2009 onwards and joining Twitter around 2010, online-based fan communities grew rapidly. Here’s what the data shows about how each generation uses Twitter differently (including tweets from official accounts and member accounts).
1. How long was it until they first tweeted?
Data shows that the number of days it took for groups to post their first tweet decreased significantly from the second generation to the fourth.
On average, second-generation groups took a staggering 1,154 days post-debut to begin tweeting.
By the third generation, groups were posting their first tweets about 132 days after debuting on average.
But now, in the fourth generation, artists begin tweeting long before they even make their debut. These groups post their first tweets an average of 116 days before debuting.
2. How often do they tweet?
Likewise, the average number of tweets has increased over the past three generations of K-Pop.
Second-generation groups post an average of just 1.2 tweets per day.
Third-generation groups, meanwhile, tweet an average of 3.5 times per day.
And that number is doubled for fourth-generation groups, who post an average of 7 tweets per day.
3. How quickly do they head overseas?
Twitter usage for K-Pop groups is intrinsically linked to the genre’s global expansion. K-Pop Radar states that the growth of overseas fandoms really took off in the third generation when platforms like YouTube and Twitter became popular, but this expansion is accelerating even more rapidly with the onset of online concerts in the fourth generation.
According to the data, third-generation groups took an average of 582 days (around 1.5 years) to hold their first overseas concerts and 697 days (almost 2 years) to release their first overseas albums.
Fourth-generation groups, meanwhile, hold overseas concerts around 13 months quicker (200 days on average) and release overseas albums an average of 9 months quicker (around 448 days from debut).
4. How do fourth-generation groups use Twitter pre-debut?
One of the biggest marked differences between Twitter use across the generations is definitely pre-debut tweeting according to K-Pop Radar. While the majority of third-generation groups didn’t tweet at all before debuting, most fourth-generation groups do.
On average, data shows fourth-generation groups post about 323 tweets before debuting. Of the groups analyzed in the study, Stray Kids, TREASURE, and TXT had the most pre-debut tweets.
Fourth-generation groups also gain a staggering 562,377 followers on average before making their debut—over half a million in total.