Pope Benedict XVI is following 7 versions of himself on Twitter and no one else

A screen shot of who the Pope is following. 

Yes yes, we all know, the Pope will officially start tweeting today. But who does he follow? Not God -- not on Twitter at least. (Must...not...make..."direct messages from God" joke....here). 

The Pope follows only seven people, which are actually seven other versions of himself. It's part of the Vatican's strategy -- explained in part to me for today's show by the company's Claire Diaz-Ortiz -- to get the message out in 8 different languages. Maybe the non Italian or non English-speaking versions of the Pope all retweet the original? Or they want people like me to look at the users that the Pope is following (which totally worked), and follow some of the Pople clones (which didn't work). 

We can assume different popular Twitter users take entirely different approaches when it comes to choosing who to follow. I find it interesting that the Pope follows no one but other versions of himself. At least he's more discerning than President Barack Obama, right?

In all seriousness, it'll be interesting to watch how one of the most famous religious leaders of the world -- and his people -- take to the social media. I hope even the Holy Father gets to toss out some good Pope jokes in the stream. 

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.
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