Korean boy band BTS have been chosen by TIME as one of the 25 most influential people on the internet this year. "For our third annual roundup of the most influential people on the Internet, TIME sized up contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news," TIME wrote.
Besides BTS, others on the list are Chrissy Teigen, Matt Drudge, J.K. Rowling, Carter Wilkerson, Yao Chen, Brian Reed, Alexei Navalny, US President Donald Trump, Matt Furie, Steven Pruitt, Bana Alabed, Gigi Gorgeous, Jonathan Sun, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Branden Miller, The Indivisible Guide founders Ezra Levin, Leah Greenberg, Angel Padilla, Sarah Dohl and Matt Traldi, Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, Ariel Martin, Cassey Ho, Huda Kattan, Mark Fischbach, and The Skimm founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.
BTS' success is partly due to their being very active on social media.
"Overtaking Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to spend 27 consecutive weeks atop Billboard's 'Social 50' chart, which tracks popularity across different platforms, would be an impressive feat for any artist," TIME said of BTS.
It added, "It's especially so for BTS, a Korean boy band — the full name, Bangtan Sonyeondan, loosely translates to 'bulletproof boy scouts' in English — whose seven members have managed to cultivate a virtual fanbase that could give the Beyhive a run for its money."
TIME said last year, "the so-called BTS Army propelled Wings to No. 26 on the Billboard 200 — the highest-ever debut for a K-pop album — and earlier this year, they helped BTS win Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards."
"This award belongs to [everybody] around the world who shines the love and light on us," said member Rap Monster when BTS accepted the BBMA award.
BTS' Twitter account has 6.38 million followers while their Facebook page has 4.6 million. A single tweet from BTS generates more than 100,000 retweets.