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PM Modi leaves White House behind in Twitter fan following

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Social media-savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi has beaten the White House in terms of fan following on Twitter as he become the fourth most ‘followed’ leader on the microblogging site globally, reveals a study of world leaders.

According to a study – Twiplomacy – conducted by global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller, US President Barack Obama is the most followed leader on Twitter followed by Pope Francis, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Modi and the White House.

“Since his election in late May 2014, India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the fourth-most followed world leader on Twitter, with 4,981,777 followers. He surpassed the United States White House account (4,980,207) today (25.06.2014) and is using Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages,” the updated study said.

Earlier same day, the study had said: “He is expected to surpass the US White House account (4,973,061 followers), within the next days and is using Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages.”

According to the study, Obama has 43 million followers, Pope Francis has 14 million and Yudhoyono has five million followers.

Pope Francis is the most influential world leader on Twitter. His Spanish tweets are retweeted on average more than 10,000 times each. The tweets of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro are retweeted 2,000 times. In comparison, Obama’s tweets are only retweeted an average 1,400 times each, despite his massive following, it said.

Twiplomacy said it aims to identify the extent to which world leaders are using Twitter and how they connect on the network.

Earlier this month, Burson-Marsteller analysed 645 government accounts in 161 countries. Only 32 countries, mainly across Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, did not have any Twitter presence.

The study also revealed that more than 83 per cent of all United Nations (UN) governments have a presence on Twitter, and two-thirds (68 per cent) of all heads of state and government have personal Twitter accounts.

Eight world leaders have seen some of their tweets retweeted more than 24,000 times, reflecting major announcements and historic events, it said.

These include tweets like “India has won! The conquest of India. Good days are ahead”, Malaysian Prime Minister’s tweet about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the abdication tweet of the King of Spain and even more trivial Sochi Olympics bet between Canada’s Stephen Harper and Barack Obama.

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