Celebrities use Twitter to shamelessly promote themselves and NOT have a closer relationship with their fans, a boffin claimed yesterday.
Research showed singer Lily Allen, socialite Paris Hilton and TV chef Jamie Oliver are the worst offenders when it comes to bigging themselves up on the social networking site.
The trio regularly use Twitter to promote their products and persuade fans to watch their TV shows.
Lily Allen has even reportedly blagged £25,000 worth of freebies by endorsing them in her Tweets.
A study by Dr Ruth Page, of the school of English at Leicester University, found that Twitter is increasingly being used by celebs to gain free publicity.
She examined 15,000 celeb tweets and discovered just 25 per cent of them disclosed personal information such as what they were having for dinner or pictures of themselves at home.
Meanwhile 75 per cent of tweets concentrated on what TV shows they were appearing on and products they endorsed.
Dr Page said: ”My study basically concluded that fans should not be fooled.
”Celebrities do not use Twitter to disclose personal information, they use it to increase their self-promotion.
”Twitter is another layer of the media which celebrities are using very cleverly in order to market themselves.
”Celebrity tweets usually tell the reader when they will next be on television.
”Paris Hilton often uses tweets to tell readers which gossip columns she has appeared in.
”There are occasions when celebrities use tweets to disclose personal detail but it makes up a tiny percentage of the rest of their tweets which are taken up with promoting themselves.”
Dr Page’s book, entitled ‘Stories and Social Media’, says celebs create an ”illusion of immediacy and proximity” through Twitter.
She said: ”Some celebrities, like Jamie Oliver make a point of following all the people who follow him.
”He made this grand gesture if they supported his campaign to make America healthy.
”In fact what he was doing was offering this supposed close contact in exchange for support for his various campaigns.”
Dr Page also discovered vast differences between how people use Facebook and Twitter.
She said: ”Whereas the former is used as a private social network, the latter is essentially an online environment for public news dissemination.”