National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Francis influence 'gaining through social media'

Tom Watson, a Forbes magazine contributor who focuses on technology and social change, is the latest commentator to wake up to the Pope Francis phenom.

Under the headline "Social Media Star: Peace, Love and a New Understanding," he writes:

"Pope Francis -- or @pontifex to his Twitter followers -- has quickly become a social media phenomenon, adding five million followers since his installation six months ago. He is gaining more than 4,000 followers a day and knocking at the door of three million followers for his English language feed alone. He's got more than eight million total on Twitter, tweeting in Latin, German, Polish, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and Arabic."

Francis-cartoon-book.jpgGet NCR's newest book: The Chronicles of Francis, the Cartoon Strip, featuring cartoons from the popular series Francis.
Buy it now!

He notes that Francis' tweets get retweeted on an average of 22,000 times, then continues:

"That 22,000 retweets (across all the languages) for every short message the Pope sends out tends to get the social marketers and cause campaigners attention. That's the kind of engagement with a wide audience of influencers that can help change opinion. Of course, the Pope's widely reported remarks on gay people and atheists -- and even the possibility of priests marrying -- have shaken up the public perception of the modern Papacy, no small feat for a 78-year-old Jesuit. Unquestionably, Francis is a rising star on social media – especially among the politically active, social cause crowd. And the Pope's own Syrian 'intervention' was both widely shared and obviously influential."

 

Editors note: We can send you an biweekly email alert with content from The Francis Chronicles. Follow the directions on our email alert sign up page.

Enjoy this article?
Help support more like it by donating today!

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

08-27-2015.jpg

Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.