Pope Francis Is Twitter’s Most Influential World Leader, Study Says

Pope Francis is the most influential Twitter user and gets more engagement than President Obama, who has more followers than any other celebrity.

We won’t call Pope Francis a celebrity, but on Twitter he is certainly an influential user, according to a recent study about how world leaders connect on the social media site, conducted by Twiplomacy. Even though the Argentinian born Pontiff is the most influential person who uses the platform, he does not have the most followers.

That honor goes to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who has a whopping 56.9 million followers. In second place — with a significantly lower number of followers is Pope Francis and his nine accounts in different languages — with 19.5 million, and in third place we find the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, with 10.9 million followers.

Most followed world leaders on twitter

Graphic via Twiplomacy

The most interesting result of this study may be that Pope Francis gets more retweets than any other world leader, including President Obama, which is prove that users are looking for content. The American leader has seen a steady decline in engagement ever since his re-election “Four More Years” photo was retweeted 806,066, one of the most popular tweets ever, according to the study.

“Despite the account’s massive following, @BarackObama tweets are on average ‘only’ retweeted 1,210 times. By this standard, Pope Francis @Pontifex is by far the most influential tweep with 9,929 retweets for every tweet he sends on his Spanish account and 7,527 retweets on average on his English account.”


Graphic via Twiplomacy

This is the third year in a row that Pope Francis is named Twitter’s most influential world leader and his numbers continue to grow. The leader of the Catholic Church usually tweets once every two or three days and his topics focus on calls to prayer after natural disasters and reflections on how to live a more holy life.

According to the study, world leaders have embraced the opportunity to engage with fellow countrymen wherever there may be and also with other world leaders, which sometimes can lead to public hashtag battles. Pope Francis doesn’t use hashtags or retweets as far as we can tell.

[Image via Jeffrey Bruno/Canonization of Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II]

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