March 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM ET
Justin Bieber's fans marked his 18th birthday on March 1 by raising money for charity. They may also have broken a world record for the most widespread social media message.
The record to break was 209,771, and if the count is accurate, or even in the ballpark, then Beliebers have blown it away with 322,224 as of 9:09 p.m. March 1, according to @JBWorldRecord, which directed Bieber's faithful to retweet this message, without any alteration: "Setting a world record for @justinbieber!" Fans went through prompts at a birthday site for the pop singer, which has since closed for submissions. Fans were also encouraged to donate $18 to charity:water, which provides clean water to those in need.
For his 17th birthday, his followers raised $47,148 to bring clean water to more than 2,357 people. This year, $12,621 has been raised so far.
Organized by AgencyNet, this year's birthday campaign took off quickly, the way things often do when it comes to social media and Bieber, and gathered so much momentum that more than 214,000 messages had gone out by 9:53 a.m. But fans continued to build a buffer and even shoot for the 400K mark.
Only one tweet/retweet was allowed per person, but with nearly 18 million Twitter followers, Bieber has something of an advantage when it comes to being able to go viral.
As described by Guinness World Records, Bieber already holds a few records and seems well positioned to take this one, which was held by another charity previously:
The record for the most widespread social networking message was #beatcancer, created by cancer charity Everywhere and posted 209,771 times on Twitter by different individuals within 24 hours of its first appearance on 17 October 2009.
Bieber, who celebrates the landmark birthday today, already holds Guinness World Records titles for the most viewed video online, most followers on Twitter, most "disliked" video online and the first solo artist to have three No. 1 albums before the age of 18 in the U.S.
Check back March 9, when Guinness will verify whether or not the record has been broken.