The Twitter followers of the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis,80, has hit the 40 million mark, the Vatican said on Wednesday, October 11.
Despite the dry, religious nature of most of his tweets Pope Francis is a powerhouse on Twitter, joining US President Donald Trump (40.3 million followers) in the 40 million mark, but still trailing the likes of Barack Obama (95 million) and Katy Perry (104 million).
The Pope’s use of Twitter could also seem at odds with him regularly urging young people to give their smartphones a rest in favor of real-world communication.
The Argentine pontiff’s Spanish account has most followers (14.6 million), followed by English (14 million).
A hugely popular Latin one has 843,000 (more than the German or Arabic feeds), much to the delight of the ancient language’s dwindling band of teachers.
Francis, who also counts 5 million followers on Instagram, is not the first pope to tweet.
His predecessor Benedict XVI started in December 2012, just months before he retired because of failing health.
Tweets in the name of the pope appear on average just under once a day.
“God does not disappoint! He has placed hope in our hearts so that it can blossom and bear fruit,” he wrote in his latest missive.
The central importance of prayer is a recurring theme and some messages are barely comprehensible to non-Catholics.
The immediacy of the social medium offers the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics a platform to react quickly to global events, or voice his views on the social issues of the day.