“Pope Francis may not have more Twitter followers than Barack Obama, but according to a new study, he’s the most influential person on the Twittersphere,” United Press International reported June 25.

“There are nine different versions of the Pope’s handle, @Pontifex, each one for a different language. All totaled, he has 14 million followers. That’s just a third of the following President Obama has. Still, when it comes to clout, no one tops Pope Francis.”

“It’s not the number of followers which is really important, but the reach, the engagement,” explained Matthias Lüfkens, who conducts the annual Twiplomacy survey, in the UPI story.

“While Obama’s tweets are retweeted an average of 1,442 times, Pope Francis gets 10,000 retweets for every Spanish tweet and 6,462 retweets on his English account,” UPI also reported.

This kind of engagement has been addressed by the Holy Father himself.

“It is essential to be present [online], always in an evangelical way,” he said at the 26th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity last year,  “... to show the way that leads to him who is the answer [to life’s questions], the Divine Mercy made flesh, the Lord Jesus.”

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