A tweet from Pope Francis against human trafficking A tweet from Pope Francis against human trafficking 

Tenth anniversary of @Pontifex's first tweet

It was 12 December 2012, when Pope Benedict XVI sent his first 'tweet' and imparted his first blessing via social media. Today the account is one of the most followed in the world and has 53 million followers.

Vatican News

Using the handle @Pontifex, Pope Benedict XVI tweeted "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart".

It was 11.30 a.m. on 12 December 2012, ten years ago, that the first papal blessing was imparted via social media. Today the @Pontifex account, opened on 3 December of the same year, is among the most followed Twitter accounts worldwide.

Over 50 million followers

Marking its tenth anniversary, the papal Twitter account has reached 53.5 million followers spread across 9 language channels of Vatican News (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Polish, Arabic, and Latin).

English and Spanish count close to 19 million followers, Italian and Portuguese over 5 million.

From January to date the account has grown by 800,000 users in the past year. The Spanish, Portuguese and Italian accounts have seen the most significant growth.

Tweets and Ukraine

Tweets with Pope Francis' appeals for an end to the war in Ukraine were the content that triggered the most interaction over the past year, as were tweets with messages to populations and communities wounded by conflict and calamity and for which the Pope asked followers to join in prayer.

Also very popular were the messages posted in the last two years regarding the pandemic. The Pope's word in difficult times is very appreciated on Twitter across the board.

In 2020, a year of exceptional data due mainly to the pandemic, @Pontifex's tweets were viewed a total of 27 billion times.

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12 December 2022, 17:23