I have to say I am disappointed to hear that celebs are getting paid to tweet about products. Are you kidding me?
—M. Duncan, via Twitter
Not a joke, no. Celebrities are indeed raking in cash to tweet for companies, including Sony and Nestle. And if you want to know just how serious the business of paid tweeting has become for celebrities, wait till you read how much they get paid per post.
That is, if you aren't eating anything right now. Would hate for you to choke...
So try $10,000 per tweet.
Yes. Not a misprint.
According to Ad.ly, a new company whose sole purpose is to hook up tweeters (famous and otherwise) with ad partners, Kim Kardashian and Soulja Boy both earn that amount every time they tweet for cash, at least when they do it via Ad.ly. (Kardashian recently did a tweet like that for Nestle, says Sean Rad, CEO of the company.)
That's considered top of the pay scale, at least right now.
Other stars like Greg Grunberg (who donates his paid tweets to charity) earns in the four figures per paid tweet, Rad tells me. And a host of still more stars also have signed on to tweet for money, including Nicole Richie, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendra Wilkinson, Joel Madden, Lo Bosworth, David Spade, Whitney Port, Tom "Draco Malfoy" Felton, Audrina Patridge, Channing Tatum and many, many more. (Complete list here.)
The pay per star tweet may go up in coming years, too. Rad says that his company's holy grail of paid tweeters would be Britney Spears or P. Diddy, who, he says, could earn up to $20,000 per tweet, should they ever get started doing that.
So how do you know when a star is tweeting for money and not just for, you know, access to instant fan adoration?
By law, the star must 'fess up.
A new regulation requires people to disclose whether a blog post or social media post was influenced by any kind of cash incentive—violators could face fines up to $11,000. Tweets arranged through Ad.ly all include language indicating that the communication is an ad, as when Kim recently posted "U guys have to watch Dancing w Stars."
But if a star goes through some other medium, or simply tweets for cash on her own, and fails to disclose that, you just might see a nice juicy scandal in 2010 involving the Federal Trade Commission.
Who was last year's top celeb tweeter? Check our gallery to find out!