A look at prolific Twitter accounts

By Associated Press

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Vatican Pope Tweets_Tayl
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI pushes a button on a tablet at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, Pope Benedict XVI pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience Wednesday. It read: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."Later in the day he was to respond to a few messages sent to him from around the world.As the countdown to his first tweet from his Twitter handle (at)Pontifex neared, the pope had garnered nearly 1 million followers in the eight languages of his account. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)

Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account. In amassing an army of followers, the pontiff joined an elite circle of prolific tweeters. Below is a glance at other members of the Twitterati.

Pop icon Lady Gaga’s account ranks as Twitter’s most followed, with her musings and inspirational messages reaching 32 million followers. The Grammy-winning entertainer has sparked controversy over sometimes racy images and videos tweeted from her account, but she has also used the forum to promote charity and empowerment.

The U.S. president’s Twitter feed is run by the Obama campaign and has 24.4 million followers. Obama rarely sends his own tweets, but when he does he signs them, as he did in one sent to the first lady on Valentine’s Day.

Brazilian football superstar Kaka was the first athlete to amass 10 million followers on Twitter, joining an elite group of online influencers. The Real Madrid midfielder’s tweets are written in English, Spanish and Portuguese, reflecting his global appeal. At last count, his followers topped 13.7 million — lagging just behind teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, with 14.8 million.

The 77-year-old Dalai Lama has amassed 5.7 million followers on Twitter. The exiled Buddhist spiritual leader of Tibet follows no other accounts, but posts every few days on the micro-blogging site. His messages are a mix of inspirational quotes and probing questions, with a few links to his appearances mixed in.

The media baron’s controversial tweets are a mix of personal, politics and business news. With 376,000 followers, Murdoch has a far smaller Twitter flock than many bigwigs — but his unedited and uncensored tweets have made the account a must-follow among media watchers.


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