Study shows power of Twitter in international diplomacy

The power of Twitter in global politics has been evidenced by the latest study by Twiplomacy, which found that the governments of 77.7 per cent of the 193 UN member countries have a Twitter presence, with nearly half personal accounts of heads of state, heads of government and ministers of foreign affairs (infographic).

But while a third of leaders on Twitter tweet themselves, few do so on a regular basis. And while a quarter of world leaders and governments follow US president Barack Obama and the White House, the accounts have mutually established Twitter relations with just four other world leaders.

Obama is the most followed leader, with 33.5m people following, with the Pope coming in second (7.2m followers), the White House in third (4.0m followers) and the president and prime minister of Turkey in joint fourth (3.4m).

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was named as the most connected leader with 44 mutual connections with other leaders. He didn't seem too impressed though.

The UK Foreign Office is the fourth best connected world leader with 27 mutual connections with other leaders, while the UK government is the fifth most followed leader in Europe.

Meanwhile, some 32 per cent of tweets from world leaders are in English, just ahead of the 31 per cent in Spanish. Surprisingly perhaps, just seven per cent are in French.