President Donald Trump is now the most-followed world leader on Twitter, having bested Pope Francis during the weekend. Trump now has 40 million followers on his @RealDonaldTrump account, slightly more than the combined total of Pope Francis' @Pontifex accounts in various languages. The numbers are tracked by the website Twitplomacy. However, both accounts are likely followed by a fake "bot" accounts as well as by accounts that are no longer used.
Former President Barack Obama has more followers than Trump, but he's not counted in this as he is no longer the president.
From the Associated Press:
Twitplomacy says Trump, with about 40 million followers, over the weekend took the top spot on its tracked list of about 890 accounts of leaders like heads of state and government. The pope’s followers in all languages are slightly fewer.
Twitplomacy founder Matthias Luefkens, head of digital with Burson Marsteller EMEA, acknowledged that many followers could be dormant accounts or “bots.” The list also doesn’t count ex-leaders like Barack Obama, who has 95 million-plus followers.
While Twitter has only really been around for the last two administrations (although it was created during the last part of the George W. Bush administration, it was not really popular until the Obama era), Trump has adopted a much different approach to the social network than Obama. Trump retained the use of his personal account (the @realdonaldtrump handle) as well as the @POTUS official account. Trump has announced many new policies on Twitter (such as the ban on transgender soldiers), surprising even his advisors.