Since the first papal tweet was sent by Pope Benedict XVI in December 12, over 6 million followers have joined. The account, which was deactivated during Sede Vacante, was reopened after Francis’ election and the numbers continue to rise.
Francis has continued Benedict’s lead in reaching out to the world through the use of social networks. As of now, the @Pontifex account post tweets in English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Germany, Latin, Polish, and Arabic.
By reaching so many people, the Holy Father is attracting an audience that rivals most singers, actors, and musicians on the same platform.
Surprisingly, the Latin language account has surpassed both Polish and Arab languages. Other languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese, have also seen an exponential increase in followers.
Although Twitter has been seen as a marketing strategy for major corporations or institutions to increase their brand, the @Pontifex account is concretely using it as a tool of the New Evangelization but adapting to new forms of communicating not just with the faithful, but with all people.
The number of tweets sent by Pope Francis have been steadily increasing, going to almost one tweet a day. With such messages as, “Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”, the Holy Father sends small, but concrete messages that touch at the hopes and desires of all despite its 140 character limit.