In the latest K-pop-related social media blitz, Twitter saw a burst of EXO-related content over the weekend as the K-pop boy band racked up over 11 million tweets upon the debut of a new account.
The tweeting frenzy occurred after EXO launched their official account, @weareoneEXO, on Saturday in anticipation of their upcoming The War album. Shortly after creating the account, the band trended globally with the hashtags “EXO” and “Ko Ko Bop,” the title of their new single.
As of publishing, the group’s official account has over 450,000 followers, with four tweets that have over 1 million direct impressions.
EXO is the first K-pop act to utilize Twitter’s “Instant Unlock” feature, which allows Twitter users to access special videos and content by a variety of engagements on the site. Special hashtags reveal EXO-oriented emojis, and they’ll be available when using specific hashtags (#EXO, #엑소(EXO), #TheWarEXO, #KoKoBop) through Aug. 8 at 9:30 p.m. KT.
Choose one hashtag below.https://t.co/H26ONIGEU3
— EXO (@weareoneEXO) July 8, 2017
The new account’s name refers to the band’s longtime slogan, “We Are One.”
By Monday (July 10), EXO dropped video teasers for members Kai and Baekhyun, plus a still shot of the former. Kai’s depiction with dreadlocks resulted in an outcry from many K-pop fans, spurring a debate about appropriation in K-pop. Following the teaser’s release, Kai mentioned in a live stream that he was concerned about the hairstyle, which he is no longer sporting.
Despite not having an active official account for the band, EXO has had a heavy presence on Twitter for a long time now. (They previously had a promotional account to promote the release of their Exodus album in 2015 and occasionally posted on a pair of unverified accounts used for their EXO-M and EXO-K subgroups.) According to Twitter, the boy band was the top trending artist on the social media site last year, beating out the rest of the top 10 trending artists of Twitter in 2016, including Beyoncé, Prince, Justin Bieber, One Direction, BTS’ Jimin, Jin and Jungkook and Got7’s BamBam.
Social media is increasingly becoming more important amongst K-pop acts to amass global popularity and improve communication between stars and their fans. The power of K-pop and social media hit home at this year’s BBMAs, where BTS beat out Justin Bieber for top social artist.
EXO will release The War, their fourth studio album, on July 18. It will be the group’s first album not to draw on their name for titular inspiration, differentiating itself from prior albums XOXO, Exodus and Ex’Act. Along with single “Ko Ko Bop,” the album feature eight other tracks.