Vatican turned jubilant yesterday (October 27) when it announced that Pope Francis has attracted more than 10 million followers on Twitter so far. This could be considered as a milestone in the pope’s current drive to possibly spread the Word of God using non-conventional and modern ways like the popular social media.
The Pope currently has a total of nine Twitter accounts, all using the @pontifex handle. Each account is in a unique language like English, Latin, Arabic, and Polish, among others. It is noticeable that all accounts reflect the same tweets but the messages are translated in different languages corresponding to each account.
Milestone for Pope
Yesterday, the pontiff personally wrote his appreciation to all his followers. He tweeted: “I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me.” Before that, he announced to his followers “there are now over 10 million of you!”
Pope Francis is the second Pope to put up and maintain his own Twitter account. His predecessor, Benedict XVI generated around 3 million followers from December last year to March this year, when he decided to step down. But Pope Francis was the first pope to publish a selfie on Twitter and the first one to reach the 10 million mark.
It could be noted that the Vatican has always been open and interested about the idea of using latest technologies to remain in touch with up to 1.2 billion Catholics from all over the world. In 1931, Guglielmo Marconi, the radio inventor, set up Vatican Radio with the aim of helping the Church spread the faith through widely used technology by the people.
Most popular Twitter users
However, the Pope still has a long way to go before he could finally catch up with the most followed celebrities on the micro blogging site. The Pope is now more popular on Twitter compared to the New York Times. He is just a little behind controversial rapper Kanye West in terms of Twitter followers.
Pop music stars are still holding the top three positions in terms of most number of followers on the Website. Justin Bieber has over 46 million Twitter followers, while Katy Perry has close to 46 million followers. On the third spot is Lady Gaga with over 40 million followers. Meanwhile, the first black US president Barack Obama has close to 39 million Twitter followers making him land the fourth spot.