Who is the most influential leader on twitter?

With 43.7 million followers, President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) leads the pack of world leaders now using Twitter to get their messages out. But Pope Francis (@Pontifex) holds the most influence.

According to the “Twiplomacy 2014 Study” released yesterday by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, more than two-thirds of all “heads of state and heads of government” have set up personal Twitter accounts since the social network launched in 2006.

Pope Francis, with 14 million-plus followers across nine different language accounts, is not only highly influential but second only to Obama for number of followers. The report named the pope the “most influential tweep” because he averages over 10,000 retweets for every tweet on his Spanish-language account and 6,462 on his English-language account. Spanish is the top language used by world leaders for tweeting, followed by English.

Leaders from the world’s most populous nations prove that population size does matter on the social network. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono) has 5.07 million followers, and newcomer Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, (@narendramodi) has 5 million followers. As an institution, the White House (@WhiteHouse) tops the list with 4.98 million followers.

The two world leaders who interact the most with their followers are both in Africa: Uganda’s prime minister (@AmamaMbabazi) and Rwandan President Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame).

Not surprisingly, news trends can have a big impact on who’s listening to all those leadership tweets. The report noted that the foreign ministry of Ukraine (@MFA_Ukraine) and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s English-language account (PutinRF_Eng) have seen their followers surge since the start of the crisis in Ukraine.

Still, when compared to celebrities like Katy Perry (@katyperry) with 54 million followers and Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) with 52.5 million followers, most world leaders and diplomats have a ways to go.


12 thoughts on “Who is the most influential leader on twitter?

  1. Apologies. I know this has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Just wanted to say that the apostle Paul is greatly loved and admired by many a Christian, and I am one of those Christians.

    “Paul’s martyrdom in or around 67 AD is commemorated by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Eastern Orthodoxy on the 29th June each year. It is celebrated alongside the martyrdom of St Peter and is one of the oldest saints days in the Christian calendar.

    The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ends on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.

    In mediaeval times, people believed the weather on this day (like that on St Swithin’s Day) to be an indicator of their fortune in the months to come.

    If Saint Paul’s day be fair and clear,
    It doth betide a happy year;
    If blustering winds do blow aloft,
    Then wars will trouble our realm full oft,
    If clouds or mist do dark the sky,
    Great store of birds and beasts shall die;
    And if by chance to snow or rain,
    Then will be dear all sorts of grain.

    Saint Paul is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the history of the Western world. Just a quick look at the headlines of his life are enough to understand his impact; his works are some of the earliest Christian documents that we have, 13 of the 27 books of the bible are written by him, and he’s the hero of another, Acts of the Apostles.

    Famously converted on the road to Damascus, he travelled tens of thousands of miles around the Mediterranean spreading the word of Jesus and it was Paul who came up with the doctrine that would turn Christianity from a small sect of Judaism into a worldwide faith that was open to all.

    What we know about Paul comes from two extraordinary sources. The first is the Acts of the Apostles, written after Paul’s death, almost certainly by the same author who wrote St Luke’s gospel. There is evidence that Acts was written to pass on the Christian message, but behind the theology lie clues about Paul’s life. The author of Acts claims that he knew Paul and even accompanied him on many of his journeys. The second source is Paul’s own letters. They represent Paul’s own version of events, and it seems reasonable to accept them as the more reliable account.

    Reading Paul’s letters and Acts of the Apostles we learn that Paul was born in Tarsus, in modern day Eastern Turkey, he was a tent maker by trade, was an avid student under the top Jewish teacher in Jerusalem and was also a Roman citizen. Here is a man who worked with his hands but wrote with the grace of a Greek philosopher; a Jewish zealot who nevertheless enjoyed the rights of citizenship in the world’s greatest empire.

    In his letters, we also discover the Paul who writes warmly of his friends, both men and women, the Paul who frets about how the members of his churches are coping without him and who defends their status as true converts and the Paul who appeals for the freedom of a slave. But like all great and charismatic figures there is another side; the Paul who berates his followers for backsliding and doubting; the Paul who tells women to keep silent and condemns homosexuality and the Paul who’ll stand up to the Apostle Peter, one of the most senior people in the early church and call him a hypocrite to his face.

    Paul wrote some of the most beautiful and important passages in the whole of the Bible, but his works have also been used, among other things, to justify homophobia, slavery and anti-Semitism. He has also been accused of being anti-feminist, although many modern scholars would argue that in fact he championed the cause of women church leaders. In the final analysis, Paul was the first great Christian theologian, establishing some of the building blocks of the faith that we now take for granted, though there are those who argue that in laying out these ground rules, Paul has obscured and separated us from the true teachings of Jesus. But perhaps the true sign of Paul’s importance is that even nearly 2000 years after his death he still inspires passion; whatever you feel, it’s hard to feel neutral about Paul.”



    • Y’realise it makes no-never-mind to me Mon, but in contrast to that pragmatic politician Paul I prefer the horizons of that hopeful hippie called ‘Jesus’.

      The former offers achievement; the latter offers hope.


      • Paul took the gospel message of salvation to the gentiles. What is that you ask? It is the message of HOPE! Paul preached the same gospel as Jesus did. If you can’t see that then ask God for illumination.


      • Not that I necessarily agree with the sentiment, Mon, but in any case there’s a subtle difference between what the two preached.

        Paul preached about what you must ‘do’ to get salvation; Jesus preached about what you must ‘be’ ~ and ‘salvation’ was only a secondary issue.

        That’s how I see it, anyway.


    • And since we’re off-topic ~ and in contrast ~

      I am the Voice of the Voiceless
      Through me the dumb shall speak
      Till the world’s deaf ear be made to hear
      The wrongs of the wordless weak.
      Oh shame on the mothers of mortals
      Who do not stoop to teach
      The sorrow that lies in dear dumb eyes
      The sorrow that has no speech.
      From street, from cage, from kennel
      From stable and from zoo
      The wall of my tortured kin proclaims the sin
      Of the mighty against the frail.

      But I am my brother’s keeper …


    • Y’realise it makes no-never-mind to me Mon, but in contrast to that pragmatic politician Paul I prefer the horizons of that hopeful hippie called ‘Jesus’.
      The former offers achievement; the latter offers hope


  2. Pingback: Who is the most influential leader on twitter? | debbiehughett1

  3. You’re right!
    The world’s full of twits!
    …..and did you notice that Obama and the Pope are both more popular than god?


    • …..and further notice that, despite the popularity and power, they don’t achieve anything useful.
      The murder and the mayhem continues unabated.

      Henry Ford was right:- “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”


  4. You know you can ‘hire’ Twitter followers. Kind of like that Steve Martin comedy where he had a party with all these cardboard cut-outs. Too funny.


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