Modi, Trump or Obama: Ahead of PM's digital handover, here's a look at who really dominates social media?

Prime Minister Modi's recent announcement stating that he would be handing over his social media accounts has put the spotlight on the accounts in question.

In case you were wondering. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has over 53.5 million followers on Twitter. Alongside, he has 35.2 million followers on Instagram.

On Facebook, more than 44 million follow his page and his official channel on YouTube has 4.51 million subscribers.

But how exactly does the Prime Minister measure up against other world leaders and celebrities?

Ahead of his India visit President Donald Trump had claimed that he was the most popular individual on Facebook, with Prime Minister Modi being the second.

This was a reiteration of his earlier tweet that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had told him that he was "Number 1 on Facebook" and that his Indian counterpart was second.

Now while we're not quite sure about the parameters for calculating who becomes 'number 1 on Facebook', the numbers don't quite add up. The official and verified Donald Trump page, for example, has 26 million likes. But far be it from us to ponder on the factual accuracy of Trump's statements.

In any case, it is former President Barack Obama who can be crowned as 'number 1' -- at least when it comes to world leaders on Facebook -- with 55 million likes on his official and verified Facebook page.

Let us now come to Twitter.

Modi who joined the micro-blogging site in January 2009 has left all other Indian politicians behind in the dust. Only two world leaders are ahead of him when it comes to Twitter -- US President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama.

Here, Trump has a lead over Modi, with over 73.3 million followers. Obama however is the clear winner, with 113.3 million followers on Twitter.

But if this had been a competition, it is on Instagram that Prime Minister Modi would have been declared the victor by a large margin. The Prime Minister has 35.2 million followers while Obama has 26.9 million followers and Trump has 17.9 million followers.

There is a second question that we must address here. Are all the people following these world leaders real? Well, a 2018 study seems to suggest otherwise. According to a report by digital platform Twiplomacy, 60% of Narendra Modi's Twitter followers are fake.

Trump in contrast has 37% fake followers according to the report.

Coming back to Tuesday's news, the Prime Minister has announced that he would be "giving away" his social media accounts "to women whose life & work inspire us" on the occasion of Women's Day.

It now remains to be seen who will be selected.

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Free Press Journal