Tweet this: India gains on US in Twitterverse

GENEVA (AP) — In the Twitterverse ruled by President Barack Obama, India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi may soon overtake the White House on Twitter.

An analysis of Twitter accounts — showing the emphasis some governments put on digital diplomacy as a 21st-century tool for statecraft — projects Modi, already the fifth most-followed world leader on Twitter with 4.95 million followers, will soon overtake the White House’s 4.97 million.

He has a long way to go to catch Obama’s campaign account, however, with 43.7 million followers; next comes Pope Francis, with 14 million followers on nine language accounts; and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, with 5 million.

But the “Twiplomacy” study Wednesday by PR firm Burson-Marsteller shows French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt are the best-connected diplomats.

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