How do world leaders rank on social media?
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the most followed world leader on social media, topping the rankings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
- On LinkedIn Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is still in the lead ahead of the Indian Prime Minister. Surprisingly many elected officials seem to ignore the professional social network, which has seen double digit growth for those who are active on the platform.
- Ukrainian President leads the rankings on Telegram and catapulted into the top 10 on many social media channels over the past year.
- El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele is the most followed world leader on TikTok.
For the third year running, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most followed world leader with 88 million followers on his personal Twitter account @NarendraModi and 53 million on his institutional account @PMOIndia set up by his predecessor. With a total combined following of 141 million followers on both accounts the government leader of the most populous nation has slightly more followers than Elon Musk.
U.S. President Joe Biden is in second position with 37 million followers on his personal account and 30 million on his institutional account which he had to build from scratch since his inauguration in January 2021.
Pope Francis is in third place with a total of 53 million followers on his nine language accounts. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and India’s President Droupadi Murmu complete the top five list with 24* and 21 million followers respectively.
The 1,164 Twitter accounts of heads of state and government and foreign ministers have a combined audience of 753 million followers with a median average of 42,563 for each account.
Four hundred of these official accounts have the coveted grey badge verification for government institutions and government officials. Two hundred and eighty accounts have lost their blue badge and join the army of unverified official accounts. So far none of them have dared calling out Twitter or Elon Musk publicly on Twitter.
Some 20 leaders have subscribed to Twitter Blue, including governments and their leaders in Africa and the Middle East but also the Polish President @Prezydentpl and the @PremierRP. After having lost their verification, many are now living in fear of losing their followers with the announced cull of inactive accounts.
The 820 Facebook pages of world leaders have a combined audience of 435,267,643 followers and the median average number of followers stands at 69,501 per page.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also the most followed world leader on Facebook with a combined total of 62 million followers on his personal Facebook page https://facebook.com/NarendraModi and his institutional page https://facebook.com/PMOIndia. U.S. President Joe Biden has 23 million followers on his two pages https://facebook.com/JoeBiden and https://facebook.com/POTUS. Indonesia’s President https://facebook.com/Jokowi and Egypt’s https://facebook.com/AlSisiofficial complete the top five list with 10 million followers each.
Hun Sen, https://facebook.com/hunsencambodia the Prime Minister of Cambodia is a surprise third place with close to 14 million followers, more than there are Facebook users in his country. Another leader who reaches beyond his borders is El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele who has 6.6 million followers while there are only 4.7 million Facebook users in El Salvador.
The President of the Philippines Bong Bong Marcos who took office in June 2022 has witnessed a 28% growth of his page year on year. He is also in third place with 57 million interactions behind Brazil’s President Lula and Narendra Modi with 64 and 108 million comments, likes, and shares respectively.
The 668 Instagram accounts of heads of state and government and foreign ministers have a combined audience of 375 million followers with a median average of 25,051 per account.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also the most followed world leader on Instagram with 74 million followers on his personal Instagram account @NarendraModi. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is in second place with 51 million followers ahead of U.S: President Joe Biden who has a total of 37 million followers on his personal @JoeBiden and his institutional account @POTUS.
Since the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy (@Zelenskiy_official) has become the fourth most followed world leader on the platform. Volodymyr Zelenskyy has registered 187 million interactions (likes & comments) and 256 million video views on his 1,948 posts. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (@LulaOficial), the President of Brazil has seen his numbers more than double as he was elected president in October 2022.
El Salvador’s President @NayibBukele who is in 11th place with 4.8 million followers has literally wowed his followers with 192,224 wow-reactions on his 390 Instagram posts over the past year.
Surprisingly, LinkedIn is one of the least used social platforms by heads of state and government. No wonder since these leaders are hardly looking to get a new job. Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau leads the LinkedIn list with 5.5 million followers ahead of Indian Prime Minister @NarendraModi Narendra Modi with more than 4 million followers.
French President @EmmanuelMacron and the Sheikh @MohammedBinRashid the Prime Minister of the UAE are on the third and fourth places with 2.8 million followers each.
Eight of the 10 most followed world leaders are part of LinkedIn’s Top Voices program, an invitation-only group of experts across the professional world. The Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are not part of this exclusive club since they are not overly active on the platform.
We have identified 423 LinkedIn pages and profiles of world leaders. The 183 personal profiles combined have a total of 21 million followers and the 240 organisation pages only clock up 8.4 million followers. However, the median average of company pages is 2,327 compared to only 1,085 for personal accounts.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who is in fifth place with 1.7 million followers organized his first ever LinkedIn live in May 2023 answering prepared questions from selected members of the UK business community. The event about his plans to grow the economy was watched by 91,000 users on the platform.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has 14.6 million subscribers on YouTube, four times as many as each of the runners up, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo who have 3.7 and 3.1 million subscribers respectively.
What is even more impressive his 19,000 videos have been viewed 3 billion times with an average of 160,000 views per video. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador AMLO has registered 1.4 billion views and an average of 450,000 average views per video.
The 449 channels of world leaders have a combined audience of 48 million subscribers and a median average of 3,360 subscribers per channel. In total these accounts have more than half a million videos which are viewed on average 1,648 times.
Most channels only registered minimal growth Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and South Korean President Yoon have seen their subscriber numbers grow by more than 5% over the past 12 months.
The heads of state and government in 57 countries have an official presence on TikTok and quite a few are still active on TikTok despite a creeping public sector ban of the Chinese-owned platform in a growing number of Western capitals.
TikTok is widely popular among Latin American leaders and most presidents and governments have an official channel on the platform. El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele has become the most followed world leader on TikTok. With his 5.7 million followers he is reaching a large Spanish speaking audience far beyond the 6.3 million population of his country. Showcasing his #GuerraContraPandillas (#FightAgainstGangs), his team has started to subtitle his videos in English for a global audience.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is in second place with 4.3 million followers and French President Emmanuel Macron is in third place with 3.9 million followers on the platform. Four other Latin American presidents make the Top 10 list, namely Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, Ecuador’s Guillermo Lasso, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and Chile’s Gabriel Boric.
Bong Bong Marcos the President of the Philippines is the only Asian leader and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni is the only woman in the Top 10 TikTok ranking.
Read more about World Leaders on TikTok here.
Ukrainian President is the most followed world leader on Telegram but he has lost a third of his follower since May 1, 2022. Many other world leaders in the top 10 have seen their numbers decrease significantly. The only newcomer in the ranking is Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen whose followers have grown tenfold to 717,679. He is closely followed by Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei with 181,861 followers.
Heads of state and government and foreign ministers in only 50 countries have set up channels on Telegram which is particularly popular in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
As Twitter is morphing into a subscription-based network under its new owner Elon Musk, governments have started to look for other options. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Nigerian government and the Indian government have set up accounts on Koo, an Indian social media platform. The European Commission and the European External Action Service have created accounts on Mastodon. But so far, no current world leaders are on Bluesky, a social media platform funded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey which is in private beta and has publicly refused to onboard high-profile government accounts.
For further information and the full ranking of the 3,800 leaders we are following, contact Matthias Lüfkens, firstname.lastname@example.org
*we have totalled Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s different language accounts