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Donald Trump is most followed world leader on Twitter, Narendra Modi third

Trump overtook the Pope by more than 2 lakh followers to reach the first place.

world Updated: Oct 05, 2017 11:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Donald Trump,Narendra Modi,Twitter
US president Donald Trump is now the world’s most followed leader on Twitter, while India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has maintained his third position. (AFP)

Donald Trump is now the world’s most followed leader on Twitter, while Narendra Modi is the third, according to the latest report by Twiplomacy, a Burson Marsteller research project that tracks the use of Twitter by governments and international organisations.

Trump overtook Pope Francis by a few thousand followers to occupy the first place in Twiplomacy’s October report. The US president’s personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump has 39, 735, 749 followers, while the Pope’s official account, @Pontifex, trails behind by more than 2 lakh followers at number two. The Pope’s numbers show a total of his nine different accounts, that dispense prayers and reflections in nine different languages such as English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Latin, French, German and Arabic.

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, known for his adroit use of social media to reach the masses, has kept his third place consistently since last year. Modi’s own account, @narendramodi, has more than 34 million followers, while the official @PMOIndia account is at the fourth position with a following of more than 21 million.

India’s Foreign Minister, @SushmaSwaraj, is the most followed female world leader in the world with a 9.6 million following on Twitter. Swaraj has been lauded for using Twitter effectively to respond to people asking for help, whether it is for visas or rescue.

The @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts come in at the fifth and sixth position respectively. Other world leaders that make the top ten are Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at number 6 with 11.2 million followers, Indonesian president Joko Widodo with 8.5 million and UAE’s prime minister and ruler of Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad with 8.4 million followers.

But the rankings cannot be seen as a measure of popularity, as some Twitter users sharply pointed out that many of Trump’s followers are bots.

Former US president Barack Obama was undisputedly the most followed world leader on Twitter. In 2016, Obama’s Twitter acoount, @BarackObama had a following of more than 74.9 million. Twiplomacy’s 2016 report called him “the uncontested leader of the digital world” and said he will go down in history as the first digital president who effectively used social media while in office.

Even after exiting office, Obama’s following has only surged, currently standing at a whopping 95 million -- which is much more than the Twitter following of Trump and the Pope combined.

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 11:35 IST