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Billboard Popularity Chart

Billboard.com has started a new chart called Social 50, which ranks the most active artists on the world’s leading social networking sites. Topping this week’s inaugural list are (in order) Rihanna, Justin Beiber, Eminem, Lady GaGa and Nicki Minaj.

The Social 50 equates an artist’s popularity based on a formula that uses the artists’ weekly addition of friends, fans and followers on sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. It also calculates in songs played from the particular artist on those sites and others such as YouTube.com and iLike.com.

The data is collected by Next Big Sound, a company that tracks music being shared on the social networks, according to Billboard, and will also be displayed in the weekly print version of the magazine.

“The Social 50 provides a weekly snapshot of the artists with whom music fans engage with the most in the social arena, which in today’s world is a significant validation of their investment in an act,” says Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo. “The chart is a logical complement to Billboard’s other popularity rankings.”

According to Billboard, pop artist Rihanna took hold of the opening # 1 spot on the list by leading in new friends/fans/followers for the week, while ranking fourth in total page views.

Ri Ri’s single “Only Girl (In the World)” from her new album Loud, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. She has also placed two songs atop the Hot 100 in the past month. “What’s My Name?,” her collabo with Drake, hit No. 1 earlier this month.

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