Politicians have traditionally been wary of signing up for anything that is too transparent, but in recent years they’ve been ditching this attitude in favor of joining the masses on Twitter.
A new study from the Digital Policy Council [PDF] that ranks world leaders’ use of Twitter shows that the vast majority have embraced the 140-character network.
A full 80 percent – or four out of five – world leaders were using Twitter in 2013. This represents a growth of 8 percent over 2012, which is not quite as impressive as the huge 78 percent growth between 2011 and 2012.
The number one politician on Twitter should come as no surprise: President Obama has earned 16 million new followers in just the past year.
Coming in at the number two spot is newcomer Indonesian leader President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who joined in 2013 but whose candour has earned an impressive 4.2 million followers.
Here’s the full list of the top 10 world leaders on Twitter:
1. President Obama
2. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia
3. President Abdullah Gul of Turkey
4. Queen Rania, the Queen Consort of the King of Jordan
5. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
6. President Christina Fernandez De Kirchner of Argentina
7. His Highness Shiekh Mohammed Bin Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE
8. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto
9. President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia
10. Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff
The study also examined the 20 percent of world leaders who refuse to boil their thoughts down to 140 characters.
Of the Twitter holdouts, China is the most notably absent. There are no political leaders from China on Twitter, largely due to the fact that the service has been blocked in the country since 2009.
The study also discovered that many European democracies, like Denmark and Sweden, have yet to embrace Twitter.
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