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The teen star scored the social media victory on Monday night, as he notched a new high of 33,315,521 followers to Gaga’s 33,315,459 — enough to pass her for the first time as their follower counts fluctuated back and forth.
According to Twittercounter.com, Bieber adds an average of 40,055 users a day, a pace that should put him firmly in the lead shortly. Gaga currently adds 30,495, with Katy Perry, in third place, growing her 31.4 million followers at the pace of 29,843 a day.
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The Born This Way singer had a head-start, joining the service on March 26, 2008 — a year before Bieber. Gaga has been queen of Twitter since August 2010, when she passed Britney Spears with over 5.7 million followers, a fraction of her current count. She’s already handed over the crown gracefully.
“So proud of @justinbieber and all the Beliebers! I’m only happy to see your fans growing in size, you all deserve it!” she tweeted on Jan. 15, as the gap between the two narrowed. “Monsters support you!”
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Gaga and Bieber have long competed for online supremacy. Gaga was the first to reach 1 billion YouTube views in October 2010, a number Bieber matched a month later. On Facebook, Gaga is comfortably ahead with 54.9 million likes, 4.3 million more than Bieber. (Rihanna tops both with 65.6 million.)
His achievement comes as Bieber promotes the release of Believe Acoustic, due Jan. 29. Gaga is currently on tour, with Born This Way follow-up ARTPOP expected later this year.
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