Twiplomacy is the leading global study of world leaders on Twitter. The governments of more than three-quarters (77.7%) of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter. Almost half of the 505 accounts analysed are personal accounts of heads of state, heads of government and ministers of foreign affairs; a third of these world leaders tweet themselves, but very few on a regular basis.
This study shows that Twitter has become a formidable communication tool allowing the broadcast of short messages to millions of followers. At the same time the social network invites direct interaction between users and two-thirds (68%) of world leaders have made mutual connections with their peers.
Three quarters of all governments are on Twitter
The study found that more than three-quarters (77.7%) of world leaders have a Twitter account. Presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers or their respective administrations in 153 countries have a presence on Twitter. All 45 European governments and all South American countries except Suriname now have an official Twitter presence. In North America, Asia and Africa 79%, 76% and 71% of all governments are using the micro-blogging service. In Oceania governments in only four out of the 14 countries (i.e. 38.4% of governments) have a Twitter presence.
U.S. President @BarackObama is still the most followed world leader on Twitter with 33,510,157 followers as of 1 July 2013 and is the fourth most popular account in the Twitterverse, just behind Lady Gaga. Pope Francis is the second most followed world leader with 7,200,332 followers on his nine different @Pontifex accounts. The White House is in third position with 4,018,510 followers – @WhiteHouse and the @LaCasaBianca accounts combined. Turkish President Abdullah Gül (@cbabdullahgul) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RT_Erdogan) are among the top five most followed world leaders with 3.4 million followers each.
Queen Rania of Jordan (@QueenRania), Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussia & @MedvedevRussiae), the UK government (@Number10gov), and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) complete the top 10 list of most followed leaders with more than two million followers each. Twenty-two world leader accounts have more than one million followers. As of 1 July 2013 all 505 accounts of world leaders together had 105,733,356 followers.