Being popular does mean that people know you, for many reasons. But nowadays in school, popular to students actually mean that you are "cool". Cool as in taking drugs, being "bad", looking pretty/cute/handsome, how much money you have, how many people you have dated...Etc. Students have changed the term to something else. In my opinion, you can be popular for writing a good book, being the greatest serial killer, being the nicest person, and yeah anything to make people really notice you. Also popular could also mean how much people like you. You don't have to be popular in the whole world, but you can be the most popular among your friends for being loyal and always there for them. I think the term "popular" can be interpreted in more ways than one.
It can be argued forever it's what on the inside that counts, but such a inside is never noticed without a considerably acceptable outside. Outside representing your wealth, looks, and your willingness to agree to everything considered "the norm". My apologies to the people who think being yourself is a solution to popularity, but in reality it's see that it's the outside that counts.
It's more about the drugs, alcohol, how many people you sleep with, how good you can fight, how much shit you can talk.
If I have to pick between the two, it'd be how many people you know. Like-minded individuals normally draw each other, so they grow in number.
I wasn't sure which side was which, so I just went with no.