1 Million Follows on Pope’s First Tweet

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart,” the inaugural tweet of Pope Benedict XVI hits 1 million followers.


The 85 year old Pope Benedict sent this tweet from his new twitter account to his online fans and aficionados. It is one of the most protracted twitter launches ever.

The time when he tweeted, the message was sent to number of followers of Benedict’s@Pontifex accounts that outshined the 1 million mark. In the last two hours alone it added almost 1100 followers. It combined all the eight languages of the pope’s account.  Apart from English the other languages were Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic. The English @Pontifex account turned to be the most popular with almost 800,000 followers.

Later the pope had to reply to few questions about devotion sent to him from people around the globe.

Benedict had actually sent his first tweet over years ago using generic Vatican account to launch the Holy See’s news information portal. Someone in his name tweeted on a daily basis during Lent, part of the Vatican’s efforts to increase the church presence in social media.

A twitter account of 85 year old Pope was a subject of conjecture ever since the Vatican’s senior communications official said in February the idea was gaining traction.

The message would be typed by the Vatican’s secretariat but the words will be culled from pope’s speeches, homilies or catechism lessons this was acknowledged by the Vatican officials.

Benedict having an account on twitter may seem absurd but according to the Vatican officials, the pope is following the path of his predecessors of using the current technology for communicating with his followers and spreading  faith.

For example some 80 years back, Pope Pius XI faced the similar stir when he launched Vatican 80 to communicate with the world. The Vatican also has its own newspaper, television service, YouTube channel and an internet news portal.



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