World leaders keen to use Twitter

According to a latest research, around two-thirds of the 193 U.N. member nations have joined the Twitterverse, and most importantly, the recent tweet by President Barack Obama on gay relationship has become the most popular tweet hitherto.

But the increasing use of this so-called “Twiplomacy” among well-known personalities resonate similarity, since all of them use the social networking website. The study reveals that more than 200 heads of state and several other government institutions in 125 countries officially use twitter. The study was conducted by PR firm Burson-Marsteller, which said that this type of global study on the use of Twitter by world leaders hasn’t been done before.

According to researchers, only 30 of them are used to tweet, but it is observed that around 52 million followers received 350,000 tweets from the twittering leaders.

It is also found that many of them don’t follow each other. These include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte don’t follow any other user on Twitter.

Conversely, it is found in the study that majority of the tweets are done by Kagame and Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

The study says that 43 languages are used in tweeting; English ranks on first position and is used by 90 percent of the users, Spanish with 41 percent, French ranks at third position with 25 percent and Arabic with 17 percent only.

“Sixteen of the G-20 leaders are actively using Twitter for public diplomacy, but it is sad to see that the heads of state and government in China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Italy still have not joined the Twitterverse,” said Matthias Luefkens of Burson-Marteller in Geneva. “What is really interesting is how the world is divided into English and Spanish tweets.”

The most popular and followed account on Twitter is BarackObama. It has more than 17 million followers and majority of them are the president’s peers and other government officials. Obama does not usually send tweets but when he does, he signs them  just as he did on Valentine’s Day when he sent a tweet to the first lady.

Obama’s tweet on gay marriage is considered to be most re-tweeted up till now. According to estimates, it was re-tweeted more than 62,000 times. His tweet was “same-sex couples should be able to get married”.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rasak’s warning was also tweeted many times. He said “To my tweeter friends, It is very costly to the nation to have a public holiday. We must not overdo it. We need to work hard.”

Many politicians usually use their twitter account during election campaigns but stop using them once they are elected. Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff and French President Francois Hollanda are the recent examples.

But some of them use it for fun only.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves tweeted for the first time on May 15, saying: “Help! I’m being followed;-),”

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