Pope Francis’ Twitter account in nine languages, now has more than 35 million subscribers, reports Vatican Radio. It has seen a sharp rise in the last month, especially in English (with more than 11 million subscribers).
The @Pontifex account, opened by Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 3, 2012, is among the most followed in the world and the one that records the most retweets. Since March 19, 2015, Pope Francis is also present on Instagram with the account @Franciscus which has recently exceeded 4 million subscribers.
“The Pope’s ability to fuel public debate on complex issues is of great interest,” says Professor Paolo Peverini, lecturer in semiotics at the LUISS Guido Carli University and consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication.
“In my opinion,” says the professor, “we should especially emphasize the growth that characterizes the Instagram account, @Franciscus, which involves young users. This is the “capacity of Pope Francis,” the Italian professor underscored, to be “heard” by users who a few years ago, may have been a bit distant from the Church.