Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a stunning entry into the top 10 list of Twitter users with a vast following, rocketing to the #2 spot.
The Digital Policy Council, which has analysed the global tweeting realm states in its report that 82 percent of world leaders use Twitter, sending missives to a combined audience of 116 million followers.
In 2014, a total of 136 world leaders out of 167 countries had accounts on Twitter set up in their personal name or through an official government office. There are only 10 democracies in the world whose leaders are not tweeting to their citizenry, the report states.
United States President Barack Obama
With a 51 million followers on Twitter and adding 11 million followers in one year, President Obama continues to hold the top spot of all world leaders.
According to TwitterCounter.com, President Obama currently has the third largest number of Twitter followers in the entire world.
Most of Obama’s tweets is handled by his Organisation for Action staff, though he occasionally sends out a message of his own (always signed – bo), the report states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Modi who believes in using the social media to reach out to the man on the street is a new entrant to the top 10 list. Modi has soared into second place with a whopping 8 million followers, putting India 16 spots ahead of where his successor had been, states DPC’s report.
When he took office, he stopped giving interviews to local reporters and instead tweeted his photo opportunities to his followers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads the list of retweets with his election winning post on Twitter being shared by over 70,515 people on the microblogging site.
“India has won! Bharat ki vijay! Achhe din aane wale hai” remains the most retweeted tweet on Twitter till date from India.
Turkey President Recep Erdogan
The leader who ordered the Turkish courts to block Twitter during key local elections, to “wipe out” the service, ironically entered the ranking at #3 in 2014, a spot held by his rival Abdullah Gül since 2012. President Erdogan maintained his own account he’d had since 2009.
Erdogan who was battling a corruption scandal that was fed by social media, in August, swept to a landslide victory in Turkey’s first direct presidential election.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
The Russian prime minister has jumped up one spot to #4 in 2014.
In August 2014, hackers penetrated the Kremlin government’s security system, breaking into Medvedev’s Twitter account to announce he was resigning. The security lapse came as Medvedev was due to join Russian President Putin in Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in March, states DPC’s report.
The prime minister has accounts in both Russian and English.
While President Putin also tweets, he has significantly less followers than Medvedev.
Queen Rania, the queen consort of the King of Jordan
Queen Rania has slipped one place in the top 10 in 2014, though her account grew by 500,000 followers.
She remains one of the most influential women in the Middle East and uses her Twitter presence to advocate for women’s rights, education and employment of the youth in the Middle East.
In 2014, she called attention to the attempts by the Islamic extremists to ‘hijack’ the region via social channels like Facebook and Twitter through which they have lured foreign fighters to join their cause, the report states.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai
He is ranked #6 of the world leaders using Twitter.
Sheikh Mohammed has placed solidly within the top 15 for the past several years.
Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos
The Colombian president is the Latin American leader with the most followers.
His attempts to negotiate peace with Colombian rebel group, the FARC, have drawn the sharp criticism of former president Álvaro Uribe, who criticises President Santos nearly every day on his Twitter account.
Argentina President Cristina Fernández De Kirchner
President Fernández is known for passionate proclamations on national television and rapid-fire tweets about her work and the strategic alliances she works to solidify in her region.
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto
He fell one spot in the top 10, gaining over 1 million followers in one year. Like other world leaders, President Nieto posts “selfies” to update followers with a slice of life self-portrait, the report states.
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff
The President of Brazilbegan actively using the platform during her election devoted to dialogue with the opposition as she tried to restart the economy and battle unemployment.
During preparations for the World Cup football tournament held in her country, she dismissed criticism of the country’s readiness for the event, insisting that Brazil was amply prepared and eager to welcome the world. She tweeted her joy after the team’s win over Chile.