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Ranking of world leaders' use of Twitter

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The Digital Policy Council (DPC) released its fourth annual ranking of world leaders' use of the social media website Twitter.com. DPC's is the research and policy arm of Digital Daya, a strategic consultancy that provides advisory services to corporate and government leaders regarding digital media It's latest report indicates continued but decelerated growth in the number of heads of state on this medium. In 2013, 80% or 4 out of 5 world leaders were using Twitter. A total of 133 world leaders out of 167 countries had accounts on Twitter set up in their personal name or through an official government office. This figure represents a growth of 8% over 2012 contrasting sharply with the upsurge of 78% between 2011 and 2012.

Top 10 World Leaders who Tweet

President Obama of the United States continues to occupy the #1 spot, gaining 16 million followers in just one year. In the fall of 2013 when the U.S. government shut down due to a budget impasse that lasted 16 days, millions of tweets were generated.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia is new to the top 10, grabbing the #2 spot formerly held by President Hugo Chávez. Joining Twitter in March 2013, President Yudhoyono is now very connected to his populace with nearly 4.2 million followers. In less than three months he had garnered 1 million followers, in part due to Twitter’s popularity in Indonesia.

The rest of the top ten follows:

  • President Abdullah Gul of Turkey
  • Queen Rania, The Queen Consort of the King of Jordan
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
  • President Cristina Frenandez De Kirchner of Argentina
  • His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai
  • Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto
  • President Juan Manuel Santos of Columbia
  • Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff

Number 133 and last on the list is President Michael Sata of Zambia with 46 followers.

Who isn't participating?

There is 80 percent saturation among world leaders on Twitter. So who isn't there?

Political leaders in China, the world's most populous country, remain absent on social media. That's to be expected since Twitter has been blocked since 2009. China does have its own micro-blogging platform, called Sina Weibo, but it is strictly regulated by government censors.

More surprising is the European democracies that do not utilize Twitter, with Denmark and Sweden as notable examples. In fact, no European leaders are even represented in the Top 10. Perhaps more apparent are the leaders of politically unstable governments who simply shun social media or jumped onto Twitter only to let their accounts go dormant.

According to DPC's analysis, 67% of the countries that utilize Twitter were politically stable, indicating that leaders confident in their political legitimacy are most apt to utilize social media. In 2014, the DPC expects penetration on Twitter for world leaders to rekindle and reach 90 percent, with leaders ultimately realizing how to employ Twitter effectively as a means of strategic communications — an insight seized by Iran's newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani who became active on Twitter in 2013 for international relations even though the site is blocked in his own country.

For more information download the full report at http://ow.ly/savSS

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