Pope Francis has 40 million followers on Twitter

Pope Francis has 40 million followers on Twitter

Photo: AFP

Pope Francis now has 40 million followers on his nine-language @pontifex account, Vatican Radio reported on Wednesday.

"Forty million followers means 40 million people, 40 million hearts, minds, and passions,” Dario Edoardo Vigano, the Vatican official tasked with coordinating the Pope's Twitter and Instagram accounts, told Vatican Radio.

“It is a world, a relationship, a community: this figure emphasises that so many people continue to follow, day after day, even by way of [140-character bursts], the Pope’s teaching authority, which reaches people in very different ways," said Vigano.

Despite calling himself a 'grandfather' who claims to be far-removed from new technologies, Francis understands the power and reach of social media and "takes great care of his social profiles," Vigano stated.

Such is the importance the pontiff attaches to his Twitter account, "he closely and carefully checks all the tweets" before they go out, Vigano said.

The Pope has grasped that so-called social communities are key to spreading the Churchs' evangelical message, Vigano went on, calling this "from the click to the heart".

"Any relationship needs care, which is to say cor urat, that is, ‘to warm the heart’ even through a few letters.”

Until July this year, Francis was the most followed world leader on Twitter but has now been overtaken by United State president Donald Trump who has 40.3 million followers.