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Pope Francis Becomes Global Twitter Star Among World Leaders

Douglas A. McIntyre

It did not take long for Pope Francis to rise to the top of Twitter followers among the world's leaders. By at least one measure, he has passed even President Obama.

The new pope has 8 million followers on Twitter, which puts him behind the president, who has 34.6 million. When the measurement moves to retweets (per tweet by RT), Pope Francis has more than 20,000. Following him by this yardstick are the Dalai Lama with 3,000 and President Obama at 2,500.

For some reason, the top of the list also includes many leaders of Latin American nations -- Argentina, Columbia, Mexico and Brazil.

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All the data for these measurements come from Reputation Metrics and were taken as of late July.

Pope Francis still has a long way to go in terms of total followers among all people on Twitter. Justin Bieber tops that list with 42.6 million, followed by Katy Perry with 40.3 million and Lady Gaga at 39.5.

The pope may have run up through the charts quickly, but he probably never will break into the level of the entertainment crowd. Twitter, after all, appears to be a medium of the young.

By the way, for those who want to follow the pope, he is @Pontifex.

Methodology: The data collected by the Twiplomacy study were prepared by the consulting firm Burson-Marsteller.

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