There was a lot going on in the wake of a helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others. Much of it was grieving, and a lot of that took place on social media, where people — fans and colleagues of Bryant — expressed their love of the great man who left us way too early.

At the time, millions of fans were looking to hear from Lakers star (and Bryant friend) LeBron James, who would certainly give insight and leadership to those looking for a way forward.

At that moment, hundreds of thousands of people followed James on both Facebook and Twitter as they waited to hear from him. We now have an image of that inflection.

On January 26, 2020, the day of Bryant's death, LeBron's Facebook page had 22,985,302 followers. By the next day, it had 23,025,591 — a gain of 40,289 in just 24 hours.

It was on January 27 that LeBron finally addressed his followers, and he did not disappoint.

As of this week, LeBron's Facebook page is followed by 23,138,221 people. In just one month, he's gained 152,919 followers on Facebook.

On Twitter, LeBron saw an even more dramatic pickup in followers.

On January 26, 2020, his Twitter account showed 44,465,906 followers. The next day, it had 44,758,654, an overnight gain of 292,748 followers. 

As of this week, the 'KingJames' Twitter account is followed by 45,325,126 people — that's a gain of 859,220 followers in just over a month.

If anything, this data shows that Kobe's fans looked to LeBron for comfort, and based on his statements, they got what they were looking for.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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