The thunderous energy from fans of international sensation BTS—reminiscent of the rowdy crowds NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys attracted around the turn of the millennium for MTV’s Total Request Live—electrified a rain-soaked Times Square on Wednesday for the group’s much-hyped appearance on Good Morning America.
Unlike those early TRL days, when Twitter and Facebook and Instagram were still years away from launching, the South Korean boy band whipped up a storm on social media. The #BTSonGMA hashtag was mentioned 1.5 million times from 4 a.m. to noon, a Twitter spokesperson told ONE37pm upon request, bringing the total number of mentions since September 19 up to 2.4 million. It became the No. 1 global trending hashtag on Wednesday.
It’s no secret that BTS, rightfully dubbed “the biggest boy band in the world” with two No. 1 albums on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart this year as well as co-signs from Nicki Minaj and Steve Aoki, attracted this level of attention on social. Their global fan base, known as the BTS Army, has a dedicated online fandom, one the GMA social team experienced first-hand with jaws agape staring at their real-time engagement. Their impact was felt on social and in real life today, and this moment will likely have a ripple effect on the TV industry in terms of future bookings of more international music acts.