How Social Media Spurred on Kobe Bryant’s Image Makeover

It took Kobe Bryant a while to jump on the social media train. 

Sure, he had his trusty Facebook page with it's 16.6 million likes, but Facebook is sooo 2010. 

Bryant finally got on Twitter at the beginning of 2013. He's racked up 3.3 million followers and been on a social media roll ever since.

A couple months later he joined Instagram, where he has 1.5 million followers.

And now he's taken his talents to Vine, where last week he made a big splash—literally, check out his first post—with his debut video.

Through these various outlets the formerly private Bryant has been able to take us behind the scenes and into the mind of the Mamba.

The effect that opening up publicly has had on his image is palpable. Bryant has become even more adored by his loyal fans and gained credibility among many who used his hostile personality as justification to dislike him personally.

I myself used to have a hard time liking Kobe Bryant the person. I always told people that I admired Bryant as a player and respected the heck out of him as a competitor, but I wouldn't want to hang out with the man.

Now, though? I'm strongly leaning towards recanting that statement.

Bryant's online persona has been a revelation, even for Lakers fans. The thing I most admire about it is how positive his attitude is.

Peruse his Twitter page and you'll observe that the tone is light and even warm. Bryant never talks trash or rises to the bait of the haters. He's frank, honest, reflective, jovial and constructive.

Much has been made of how Bryant has interacted with his teammates over the years. All the yelling and head-shaking and furious glaring saddled him with a markedly negative image.

His social media usage shows a drastically different side of him, away from the heat of battle. He cheers his teammates on when unable to s...

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