Pope’s Twitter followers hit 35 million

Pope Francis’s use of social networking tools has seen him attract 35 million Twitter followers.

Launched by Benedict XVI in December 2012, the account is available in nine languages.

Since taking over the @Pontifex account, Francis’s followers have grown steadily, especially in English, which has 11 million followers.

There are a further 13 million Spanish language followers.

Of all Twitter account holders, his tweets are said to be the most re-tweeted.

One of his most retweeted messages in the past few weeks is that of 30 June, which refers to Charlie Gard and other children who have serious illnesses. This tweet says:

“To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all”.

Speaking in relation to social media, Professor Paolo Peverini, who is a lecturer in semiotics at the LUISS Guido Carli University and consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication says:

“The Pope’s ability to fuel public debate on complex issues is of great interest.”

Peverini then moved on to comment about other social media Francis has adopted, saying:

“In my opinion, we should especially emphasise the growth that characterizes the Instagram account, @Franciscus, which involves young users.

This is the “capacity of Pope Francis to be ‘heard’ by users who a few years ago, may have been a bit distant from the Church.


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