Narendra Modi now has more Twitter followers than the readership of the Times of India

Take a selfie when you’re winning.
Take a selfie when you’re winning.
Image: Reuters/Amit Dave
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Prime minister Narendra Modi’s critics have chided him for uncharacteristic silence during his first hundred days in power. But on Twitter, Asia’s most followed leader has been anything but quiet. He is in fact now tweeting in multiple languages.

Since taking office, the prime minister’s personal Twitter account—@narendramodi—has acquired over six million followers, making him the second most-followed politician in the world, after US president Barack Obama.

And the official handle of the prime minister’s office—@PMOIndia—has also grown by 40% in that time, according to Twitter.

In all, Modi now has a Twitter audience of 8.5 million followers, and growing. That is more followers than the readership of India’s most read English language newspaper, the Times of India. According to the Indian Readership Survey of 2013, the daily newspaper had an average issue readership of 7.25 million.

Image for article titled Narendra Modi now has more Twitter followers than the readership of the Times of India
Image: Twitter

The online conversation around Modi hasn’t been restricted to India either. Geo-tagged tweets from the last hundred days about @NarendraModi outside of India are concentrated around major NRI hubs in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

There are occasional callouts in South America (where he attended the BRICS summit), Africa, and a steady string of mentions in Australia, too.

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But it was his latest visit to Japan, which perhaps revealed the full range of Modi’s ‘twiplomacy’, as it were. The Indian prime minister began tweeting in Japanese, sparking talk of a ‘bromance’ with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. Here’s the latest example.

And it’s not that Modi is alone. Over 40 ministers and ministries, according to Twitter, have set-up accounts and begun posting 140 character updates.

Despite all the newcomers, it is Modi’s victory proclamation that remains that most retweeted tweet of all times in India.

Right now, at least on Twitter, Modi is clearly winning.