Who's the most popular celeb on Facebook? By one measure, it's not megastar Justin Bieber — or any other entertainment star, for that matter. It's Jesus. According to analytics from AllFacebook.com (first reported by The New York Times), the "Jesus Daily" Facebook page has accrued more likes, comments, and shared content than any other page on the social network. Here, a brief guide to Jesus' "divine" popularity online:
First off, what is this Jesus Daily?
It's a popular page on Facebook that Aaron Tabor, a diet doctor in North Carolina, started in 2009. Four or five times each day, Tabor posts something inspired by Jesus' teachings. For instance, a recent post read, "We just want to thank You Jesus. We are not ashamed to declare You!" It received 71,744 likes and 3,366 comments. "There are people out of work, at the end of the line and I just want the Jesus Daily to be a central place where they find encouragement, no matter what battle they are fighting," says Tabor.
And how popular is it?
Very. Not only does the page have millions of fans, but it also has the most engaged users around. Jesus Daily has more than 8.4 million fans, and last week it had a whopping 3.4 million interactions (a measure of Facebook users' combined likes, shares, comments, and more). By comparison, Justin Bieber has far more fans — more than 35 million — but they are far less engaged, with just 630,000 interactions last week.
Are other religious sites also popular on Facebook?
Yes, according to AllFacebook.com. While Jesus Daily leads the way, pages for "The Bible," "Dios Es Bueno," "Jesus Christ," and "Joyce Meyer Ministries" all rank in the top 20 for Facebook's most engaging pages. (Also on that list are pages for Lil Wayne, Bieber, Gaga, and Manchester United.) According to Facebook officials, the number of people talking about religion on the site has "significantly increased in the last year." Thirty-one percent of Facebook users in the U.S. note their religion on their profiles, and more than 43 million users are fans of at least one religious page. The Rev. Kenneth Lillard believes this is akin to what the printing press did for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. "I am looking at social media doing the same thing for today’s church," he says.