Vatican City: Pope Benedict the sixteenth, who has more than half a million Twitter followers in eight languages, will finally begin tweeting on Wednesday. The followers include people ranging from the simple Roman Catholic faithful to a Jewish head of state.
The pope actually has eight linked Twitter accounts. @Pontifex, the main account, is in English. The other seven have a suffix at the end for the different language versions. For example, the German version is @Pontifex_de, and the Arabic version is @Pontifex_ar.
On Tuesday, the English version had the most followers, with nearly 639,096. The next largest was Spanish, with some 154,584. The lowest number of followers was the Arabic, with about 6,894. Benedict's native German had about 18,099.
But the pope, leader of some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, won't be following anyone but himself.
A look at his official Twitter page on Tuesday showed that he is "following" seven people but they are merely versions of his own Twitter account in different languages.
The first papal tweets will be answers to questions sent to #askpontifex.
The tweets will be going out in Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French. Other languages will be added in the future.
The tweets will come primarily from the contents of his weekly general audience, Sunday blessings and homilies on major Church holidays. They will also include reaction to major world events, such as natural disasters.
He will push the button on his first tweet himself on Tuesday but in the future most of the tweets will be written by aides, and he will sign off on them.
With Additional Inputs From Reuters