A man holds a smartphone showing Pope Francis’ first tweet in front of a computer screen showing the same tweet on March 17, 2013 in Rome. Pope Francis issued his first tweet on Sunday shortly after performing his first Angelus prayer, with a consistent message: “Pray for me”. “Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and ask you to continue to pray for me,” the Argentine pope tweeted from the @Pontifex account. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Pope Francis reaches 40 million followers on Twitter

The Pope has the second highest number of followers for any world leader, behind Donald Trump

Pope Francis’s @Pontifex Twitter accounts have reached more than 40 million followers.

The papal Twitter accounts, in nine different languages, have grown by over 9 million followers in the past 12 months, representing the interest and attention of “the people — ordinary people, Christians and non-Christians, political leaders — for the Holy Father’s tweets,” the Vatican Secretariat for Communication said.

The accounts, it said, are a way for Pope Francis to personally connect with people around the world.

“Every day, through his tweets, Pope Francis makes himself available to men and women through social media, at times offering a spiritual thought,” it said, “other times sharing with his followers a reflection on events of great significance for the international community.”

The secretariat’s prefect, Mgr Dario Vigano, told Vatican Radio that “the Pope takes great care of his social profiles, to such an extent that he closely and carefully checks all the tweets, which are then published.”

It shows the Pope’s concern and “care for relationships” even over the internet, even though the Pope has admitted he is not savvy with new technologies, Mgr Vigano said. The Pope knows, he said, that the web is “a network not of wires but of people.”

In a recent report on Twitter by Twiplomacy.com, which ranks world leaders’ impact on the social media platform, the @Pontifex accounts had the second-most followers among world leaders, only 200,000 followers behind the U.S. president, @realDonaldTrump. Since the report, both the president and the Pope’s followers have continued to grow, with Trump’s account exceeding the 40.3 million mark, maintaining a tight lead over Pope Francis.

Twiplomacy ranked the Pope as coming in third among world leaders with the most interactions and being the most influential because of his average of 41,000 retweets.

The Pope also communicates digitally via Instagram, the social image channel. His account, @Franciscus, was approaching 5 million followers since its creation on March 19, 2015. The majority of Instagram followers are from the ages of 25-34, with the United States and Brazil being the countries where it is most followed.

SOURCES: http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/10/11/pope-francis-reaches-40-million-followers-on-twitter/