Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Vatican says Pope beats Justin Bieber at Twitter retweets

Pope Benedict XVI posts his first tweet using an iPad tablet after his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI's Hall at the Vatican, Dec. 12, 2012.


Pope Benedict, white-haired, 85, and a neophyte to social media site Twitter, has beaten out 18-year old heartthrob Justin Bieber to set a percentage record for retweeting by his followers, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The Vatican newspaper said that as of noon Italian time on Thursday the Pope had 2.1 million followers on Twitter, eight days after his first tweet was sent.

While Canadian singer-songwriter Bieber has roughly 15 times as many followers - 31.7 million - the Vatican newspaper said the Pope Benedict had beaten Bieber on retweets.

Story continues below advertisement

It said about 50 per cent of the pope's followers had retweeted his first tweet on Dec. 12 while only 0.7 per cent of Bieber's followers had retweeted one of the singer's most popular tweets on Sept. 26, when he commented on the death by cancer of a six-year-old fan.

The Vatican said this was part of a wider trend in which people were looking for more spiritual content.

The Pope already tweets in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic. The newspaper said he will start tweeting in Latin and Chinese soon.

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨