Do Facebook likes define a celebrity?

Matt Lauer

Matt Lauer launches a Facebook page and enters the popularity race

Fresh off the heels of landing a reported $20 to $25 million contract, NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer launched a Facebook page on Monday, June 8.  He promptly garnered 74,000 followers.  But Lauer didn’t realize he would be in a popularity race when he joined the social network.

The fresh face at Fox News who is no stranger to controversy, Megyn Kelly, entered the Facebook derby on Thursday and has nonetheless run past Matt Lauer in likes, with 165,000 to Matt Lauer’s 74,000 followers – and she did it in just one day.  “How do you ‘like’ that, Matt?” the Daily Caller web site jokingly taunted.

Are Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) “likes” an appropriate measurement of success for a network news host?

Top 15 Facebook liked pages

Taking a look at the list of the top 15 in Facebook likes in the Huffington Post could provide insight. Michael Jackson is number five on the list, with 46 million likes, although he can no longer bask in the glory of his Facebook popularity as his heirs can.

Jackson comes in just ahead of Justin Bieber, a teen star fond of walking around shirtless and wearing pants that show is underwear, who has over 41 million likes.   Pop star Katy Perry, who just can’t seem to hold down a guy, is the eighth most “liked” person on face book with over 40 million likes. That’s significantly higher than the likes her ex-husband Russell Brand has at 1.4 million.  She also beats her former boyfriend John Mayer, who has just 7 million likes. The deceased Reggae musician Bob Marley has 37 million likes while the Legalize Marijuana page has only 2.6 million likes. Go figure.

Soccer players are well liked on Facebook more so than other athletes, based on the Huffington Post poll.  Lionel Messi, an Argentinean soccer player, for example, has 33 million likes while fellow Argentinean Pope Francis has only 534,000 likes.

So don’t get discouraged by getting beat by Mygan Kelly, Matt.  Its not always the celebrity with the most Facebook likes that wins.