Politics is no longer confined to parliaments. Social media services like Twitter play an increasingly important role for many world leaders. But some manage to attract significantly more followers than others.
Many heads of state as well as their governments use the social network to promote themselves and their policies. As our chart shows, U.S. President Trump has the most followers, split between his two accounts @realdonaldtrump and @POTUS. While the first is the president’s private Twitter account, @POTUS is passed along from president to president.
Only Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (94.0 million followers) comes close to Trump’s Twitter prowess. Similar to Trump, he uses two accounts to further up his Twitter game. The Pope, who comes in third, actually has 50.0 million followers between nine different language accounts, the biggest being English (18.7m), Spanish (18.2m) and Latin (4.9m). The remainder of the top 8 consists of Muslim leaders.
There are also heads of state, however, to whom the use of Twitter seems less important. German chancellor Angela Merkel, for instance, tweets seldomly and only has around 63,000 followers. She leaves tweeting to government spokesperson Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher), who after all has around 960,000 followers.