In what’s being called the first-ever truly global study of world leaders on Twitter, researchers have identified a big rise in “Twiplomacy” – but note that not all political tweets should be treated equally.
The people behind Twiplomacy discovered that the governments of about two-thirds of the countries in the UN have a presence on Twitter, counting a total of 264 world leaders who enjoy sharing their thoughts in 140 characters or less.
Almost half (45 percent) of these accounts are the personal accounts of world leaders themselves, while the other half are those of the government, country or other entity. However, only 30 accounts are actually manned by the world leader him or herself – the others are managed by representatives.
And there isn’t a whole lot of love between leaders on Twitter. Half of them do not follow any other world leader, but a quarter do follow President Obama (@BarackObama) and the White House (@WhiteHouse). And these two are only following three world leaders between them: Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg, UK Prime Minister and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
The 264 tweeting world leaders have sent more than 350,000 tweets to about 52 million followers (more than Lady Gaga!) in 42 different languages.
Researchers note that 16 of the G20 countries are tweeting, but that China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Italy have no official Twitter presence.
And the most-retweeted tweet from a world leader?
“Same-sex couples should be able to get married”
Obama’s above tweet got a massive 62,000+ retweets.