Ten million followers

2013-10-29 L’Osservatore Romano

 “Dear Followers I understand there are now over 10 million of you! I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me”. This was Pope Francis' tweet on Sunday morning. The news is truly amazing. At 9:32 pm on 26 October @Pontifex reached a great milestone. The number of those who follow the Pope's 140 characters is constantly increasing and since 12 December last year, when Benedict XVI began tweeting, followers have grown at a rate of one million per month. Of the nine languages the Holy Father tweets in, including Latin, the Spanish and English accounts have the most followers. Furthermore it is estimated that about 60 million people read the papal tweets due to retweeting.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications greets this news with joy. The dicastery's Secretary, Msgr Paul Tighe, expressed his delight but said that “numbers aren't everything. We at the Pontifical Council want to thank all social media users”, believers and non-believers alike, “who have helped to draw many people's attention to the Pope's words and, most of all, to the Gospel message, of which he is the spokesperson”.

In fact, what is novel about the Pope's frequent tweets is that he brings the words of Jesus to so many people, regardless of their faith.