Time announced that its Person of the Year for 2023 is the American singer Taylor Swift: the magazine has explained the reasons for the choice in a (very long) page published online around 2.30pm Italian time. But maybe there really wasn’t any need to explain.
It was a little known that it would be Taylor Swift. And it was known mainly for two reasons. First of all because his The Eras Tour, the series of 151 concerts in practically all the countries of the world, which began on March 17th this year and whose conclusion is (perhaps) scheduled for December 8th 2024, is a machine record breaking tickets sold, long queues and upheavals in the economy of the cities hosting the event. And we also knew why Taylor and his swifties (this is what the singer’s fans are called) have for some time now, this year but also in previous years, been among the main topics of conversation on more or less all social platforms.
Taylor Swift is the 2023 Person of the Year because Taylor Swift has been the talk of the town online in 2023. A topic that could not be ignored, a wave that she was good at riding over time, as demonstrated by some not too well-known anecdotes that we tell below.
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When Taylor Swift broke Google
Among the most recent there is Operation Jets (we explained it in detail here), which took place between last September and October, at the beginning of the singer’s relationship with Travis Kelce, an American football player for the Kansas City Chiefs. When the team played the Jets in New York, she went to watch his game, Google searches for “taylor swift jet” or “taylor swift jets” brought Gossip sites shown as results who were talking about this thing and everyone forgot about the controversy over the unscrupulous use that the singer would make of the private plane.
In a nutshell, Swift participated in an event related to the real world same keywords of something for which it is (was) much criticized online, managing to change the search results on Google for those same keywords. In short, you reverse engineered the most powerful search engine in the world.
twitter: il “she’s done it again” di Spotify per Taylor Swift
She’s done it again ??On October 27th, Taylor Swift became the most-streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history, and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day in 2023 so far. pic.twitter.com/cLFizApdIo
— Spotify (@Spotify) October 28, 2023
The love-hate relationship between Taylor Swift and Spotify
The singer, who is about to turn 34, is not someone who backs down from battles, whatever or how big the opponent: at the end of 2014 she had the courage to remove all his music from Spotify and to keep her away from more or less all streaming platforms for 3 years, to assert her rights on the rights and use of her music. It would be difficult to find another artist who would have had the strength to do the same.
Above all, to be able to do it and to return triumphantly: just to mention the most recent examples, last October the reissue of 1989 became the most played album on Spotify in a single day and she became the most listened to artist on the platform in a single day, breaking the two records she had set about a year earlier with Midnights; furthermore, at the end of last August it also became the first female artist with 100 million listeners monthly on Spotify.
tiktok: one of Taylor Swift’s videos
The countdown on TikTok
Fans reward the singer with their attention because she repays them with her attention, trying to be present where they are present. That is, also on TikTok, in the last 2-3 years: the series will be famous in the autumn of 2022 Midnights Mayhem in which he narrated the songs from the upcoming album with style sober, relaxed and not star-like at alloften even responding to people’s comments in person.
youtube: il video di Look What You Made Me Do
I record di Taylor Swift su YouTube
On Google’s video upload site, things went even better: the singer often used it to talk to fans (announcing the album’s release Redfor example) and has broken records repeatedly.
In August 2017, the video of Look What You Made Me Do became the one with the most views on YouTube in the first 24 hours, reaching 43.2 million and well exceeding the 36 million views of PSY and his Gentleman: according to YouTube sources, the video of the American singer has arrived to rake in 30 thousand views per minute only on the first day of programming.
More recently, the video of Me (which to date has almost 420 million views) reached 65.2 million in a single day, making Swift the female artist with the most best performance in 24 hours on the platform.
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Tumblr and the No its Becky case
Among many, perhaps the most significant (although not very well-known) example of closeness between Swift and her audience it is the so-called No its Becky issue, which was much talked about and written about in September 2014. The singer published on Tumblra social network not used much in Europe but a lot in the USA, a photo in which he showed himself wearing a yellow t-shirt with the writing No its Becky to promote the arrival of the album 1989.
The reference was to one story from several years earlier when (again on Tumblr) a person shared the image of a girl, saying that it was “my friend Becky”, who died “instantaneously” after “sniffing” marijuana at a party and inviting people to reflect on the dangers of marijuana. When multiple commentators pointed out that that in the photo was not “my friend Becky” but Taylor Swift as a young girl (“pretty sure that’s Taylor Swift”, i.e. “I’m pretty sure it’s Taylor Swift”), whoever made the post simply replied with an ungrammatical “no its Becky”. Which has since become synonymous with online who does not accept objections and he also denies the evidence of being right.
Show yourself, on social media but also while walking around New York, wearing a t-shirt with the same writing (which can still be purchased on Amazon today), a clear reference to a story that his fans knew very well and could relate to, is precisely the type of attitude not of a star but as an ordinary person who makes Taylor Swift one of the most loved celebrities. This year she is the Person of the Year, but last year too, the year before that and the year before thatback to more or less a decade ago.