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Twitter in India: Are you following the god of cricket?

Sachin Tendulkar joins the popular social media site. Will India ever be the same?

The presence of celebrities on Twitter, along with the occurrence of national crises and the role of mainstream media, have been the three big drivers of the site’s growth not only in India but across the global online community, Mishra wrote. Many of Tendulkar’s fans commented that his presence caused them to join Twitter.

The phenomenon of being a fan is based around being excited about a celebrity and then hoping you can have a connection with that person, said Sree Sreenivasan, a digital media professor and the dean of student affairs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Celebrities develop strong followings on Twitter because the site gives fans the impression they can form outgoing and incoming connections with their heroes, he said.

Many of Tendulkar’s followers seem to think that they are now reaching their fan, that their personal note to him, while broadcast for all to see, will be read by the cricket God himself. And it very well might be, creating an outgoing connection between the fan and the celebrity. For example, @kranthi_543 wrote to Tendulkar: “We are very lucky that you are on twitter. you made millions of people to reach you.”

Twitter enables fans to feel they have incoming connections with their heroes every time they receive the tiniest scrap of information or insight into the celebrity’s personal life, Sreenivasan said. And while Twitter may be criticized as a network where people share mundane, boring aspects of their lives, fans crave such banal information.

“When it comes to celebrities, that is exactly what people want,” Sreenivasan said. “You want to know what they're eating, who they are meeting.”

As for sachin_rt, his fans now know he ate at the Zodiac Grill, a restaurant in the exclusive Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, one of the two five-star hotels attacked by Pakistan-based gunmen in 2008. “Meal lasted 4hrs but it was totally worth it,” Tendulkar tweeted.

Twitter also enables fans to have a window into the personal life of a celebrity in new and different ways, Sreenivasan said. In the past, fans would have to rely on journalists to write a story or on the celebrity or his staff to update a website. Now, the celebrity can send updates instantly.

In India, Twitter also provides a connection to celebrities for fans who might have less mobility and disposable income than their counterparts in the United States and cannot easily drive across the country stopping at every baseball stadium or concert.

"If you are sitting in Kerala and you love Shah Rukh Khan, where are you going to go?" Sreenivasan said.

If you have access to the internet, you only need to go here.