PM Modi has wider reach on Twitter than Trump; 2nd most followed leader

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. (File)

New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is known for his robust outreach to masses through his social media presence, has twice as many as followers on Twitter than US President Donald Trump, according to the new 2020 Twiplomacy rankings.

As per the rankings, PM Modi has become the second most followed world leader on Twitter after the US President. PM Modi, with over 57.9 million followers, has seen his followers grow by 21 per cent year on year.

The Indian Prime Minister’s account reaches on average 40 million followers, or 70 percent of his followers with his tweets, twice as many as President Trump who only reaches an audience of 20 million or a quarter of his followers, according to this year’s Twiplomacy rankings.

PM Modi has moved up into the second position with 57.9 million followers, ahead of Pope Francis who has 51 million followers on his nine different language accounts.

According to the rankings, President Trump is also the most effective world leader on Twitter, since each one of his tweets garners on average 24,000 retweets, which is slightly better than Saudi King Salman who garners 23,573 retweets per tweet.

For the fourth year running, the US President is the most followed world leader on Twitter, with 81.1 million followers on his @realDonaldTrump account which has grown by 33 percent year-over-year.

The heads of state and government of 163 countries and 132 foreign ministers maintain personal accounts on the platform. As of June 1, 2020, all 1,089 personal and institutional Twitter accounts of world leaders had a combined total of more than 620 million followers.

The Twiplomacy rankings have come up with many other interesting findings. For instance, among the foreign ministries, the US State Department is by far the most followed foreign ministry with 5,843,040 followers on Twitter. The foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia and the foreign ministry of India complete the top three with 2,708,727 and 1,461,097 followers, respectively.

Apart from that, as the novel coronavirus spread globally, COVID has become the most tweeted topic by world leaders during the first three months of 2020, as per the rankings by leading global communications agency BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe).

Heads of state and foreign ministers took to Twitter to share critical coronavirus information and encourage their citizens to “stay home” and “stay safe.”

Many leaders have been leading by example and updating their Twitter profiles, wearing a face mask and participating in the #SafeHands challenge. World leaders and diplomats also had to adapt to working from home and have been thrust into video conferences, making diplomacy truly digital.

The BCW Twiplomacy study 2020 focuses on how world leaders have tweeted during the coronavirus pandemic and how Twitter has tried to keep the chatter clean from disinformation.

“The coronavirus has been the main topic on Twitter for the past three months, and due to the worldwide lockdown Twitter has seen increased interest,” said Chad Latz, Chief Innovation Officer, BCW.

“It is therefore vital for world leaders to use channels like Twitter to reach out to their followers to spread critical health warnings and keep their followers abreast of the latest COVID-19-related information. As the pandemic abates in some countries, world leaders will find themselves with an expanded audiences for future engagement,” he added.

In other findings of 2020 edition of Twiplomacy, the governments and leaders of 189 countries had an official presence on the social network, representing 98 percent of the 193 UN member states. The governments of only four countries do not have a Twitter presence, namely Laos, North Korea, Sao Tome and Principe and Turkmenistan.

For the first time the Icelandic Foreign Ministry (@MFAIceland) tops the rankings of the best-connected foreign offices, mutually following 147 other foreign ministries and world leaders. The European External Action Service (@EU_eeas), the UK Foreign Office and the Russian Foreign Ministry are in second place mutually following 145 foreign ministries and world leaders.