The ways of the Internet are strange indeed. A young woman who has only just made her debut in the Malayalam film industry, in a film that is yet to be completed, has found herself in unimaginable fame overnight.
By now, everyone who has an Internet connection has heard of Priya Prakash Varrier from Oru Adaar Love. Her expressions in the song Manikya Malaraya Poovi have floored netizens, leading to instant fame on social media.
But just how crazy is this obsession? Priya, who set up her Twitter account on Monday, already has 59k followers. But it's on Instagram where she has managed to haul an enormous number of fans.
With just 87 posts, the young actor has 2.3 million followers. In just over a day! She has also managed to get a verified account almost immediately. To get a sense of proportion, Malayalam star Mohanlal has 714k followers on Instagram. Since he joined the social media platform in October 2015, the National Award-winning actor has 29 posts.
Malayalam actor Dulquer Salmaan, who enjoys a wide fanbase in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, has 1.9 million followers on Instagram so far. Dulquer is working on Telugu and Hindi films as well, besides being the son of superstar Mammootty. The actor has 150 posts on Instagram.
Baahubali actor Anushka Shetty, who has an unverified (though official - it's listed on her verified Facebook account) Instagram account has 2 million followers and 463 posts.
Actor Trisha, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films for 15 years, has 1.5 million followers on her verified Instagram account. The actor recently made her Malayalam debut alongside Nivin Pauly in Hey Jude.
Actor Amala Paul, popular in Malayalam and Tamil films, has 1.2 million followers on her verified Instagram account and 323 posts.
Model Milind Soman who causes a splash every now and then with his Instagram photographs, has 249k followers and 488 posts.
Tamil Bigg Boss fame Oviya who became a phenomenon during the course of the show, spread over several weeks, has 154k followers on her unverified Instagram account.
According to reports, Priya got 606k followers on Instagram in 24 hours, making it the third highest number of followers anyone has managed to get. She's preceded by American reality TV star and model Kylie Jenner (806k) and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (650k).
Before Priya, Sheril G Kadavan became an Internet celebrity for her dance in the Jimmiki Kammal video. American TV show host Jimmy Kimmel even tweeted about the song, thanks to an enthusiastic social media user who wrote to him drawing attention to the similarity with his name. With hundreds of fake accounts and memes, it took a while for the Sheril fever to die down.
Not everyone is charmed by the Internet's newfound obsession. Some have pointed out that Priya is only 18 years old and that the attention coming her way from men much older is "creepy". Priya's family, meanwhile, has told TNM that they're yet to come to terms with all the noise surrounding their young member.