In less than two years the Papal account @Pontifex has become the second most followed world leader after @BarackObama with almost 20 million followers on his nine different language accounts and the most influential world leader in terms of retweets per tweet.

Tweets from Vatican leaders

Religious Leader of Vatican Pope Francis

The @Pontifex account was registered on 23 February 2012 but Pope Benedict XVI only sent his first tweet on 12 December 2012: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” When he abdicated his 38 tweets were deleted from the account and archived on the Vatican’s website. Under Pope Francis the Spanish account (@Pontifex_es) has overtaken the English account in terms of followers. Although the Pope never @replies or retweets any other Twitter users, the daily papal tweets are retweeted on average almost 7,500 times on the English account and almost 10,000 times on the Spanish account making him by far the most influential world leader. The only account that has had the “privilege” to be mentioned by the Pope is @InfoScholas, the Worldwide Network of Schools Getting Together. The most used words on the papal Twitter account, which tweets less than once a day, are God, Jesus and love. @Pontifex doesn’t follow any other user except for his other eight language accounts in decreasing order of followers: @Pontifex_es, @Pontifex_it, @Pontifex_pt, @Pontifex_pl, @Pontifex_fr, @Pontifex_ln, @Pontifex_de, and @Pontifex_ar. His Holiness posted only one photo: two little girls in an Iraqi refugee camp with the message “I pray every day for all who are suffering in Iraq. Please join me”. Pope Francis joined the #BringBackOurGirls campaign asking the world to pray for the immediate release of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria.

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Pope Francis


Welcome to the official Twitter page of His Holiness Pope Francis

Peer connections (as of April 2015)

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 02/23/2012
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.71
Mentions/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 100%
Most mentioned @InfoScholas (1).
Average of retweets 7527

First tweet

Foreign Ministry of Vatican TerzaLoggia

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State has been less successful at attracting a large number of followers. The account sent its first tweet on 6 March 2013 asking its followers to pray for the new Pope. The account occasionally tweets in Italian and English and almost never @mentions or @replies to other users. More than half of the tweets link to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN’s website. Not surprisingly its most used hashtags are #PapaFrancesco, #PopeFrancis, #Pope and #Papa. @TerzaLoggia only follows the nine papal accounts.

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Benvenuti alla pagina Twitter ufficiale della Segreteria di Stato. Welcome to the official Twitter page of the Secretariat of State.

Peer connections (as of April 2015)

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 11/29/2012
Language: Italian/English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.24
Mentions/Tweet: 0.02
Replies/Tweet: 0.02
Tweets retweeted: 98%
Most mentioned @CHULLIKATT (4).
Average of retweets 11

First tweet