Sweden’s Carl Bildt top of the tweep-stakes

Top-tier tweep Carl Bildt tweeted on Wednesday that he'd been crowned the most well-connected foreign minister on social media site Twitter.

Sweden's Carl Bildt top of the tweep-stakes

The avid broadcaster, who had a blog long before such first-hand exposure became de rigeur in the nowadays twittospheric political field, himself said the survey might be a bit over the top.

“New study out today puts me as “the best connected world leader,” on Twitter. Sounds exaggerated,” @carlbildt tweeted just before lunch, Swedish time.

The Twiplomacy barometre, produced in conjuntion with heavy-hitting lobbyists Burston-Marsteller, put Bildt ahead of the Ugandan prime minister in the tweep-stakes.

Overall, almost 78 percent of UN member countries’ governments had some kind of presence on the micro-blog site. Half of the accounts belonged to heads of states or prime ministers.

“A third of these world leaders tweet themselves, but very few on a regular basis,” the study noted.

“Twitter has become a formidable communication tool allowing the broadcast of short messages to millions of followers. At the same time the social network invites direct interaction between users and two-thirds (68%) of world leaders have made mutual connections with their peers,” Twiplomacy said in a statement.

Bildt had twies to 44 other leaders, the study noted. In other words, a relationship where Bildt both followed a person’s tweets, and they followed his tweets back.

The Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi seemed, however, to be one of the chattiest among the merry bunch of tweeting politicians. Some 98 percent of his tweets were replies to other tweeps (Twitter peeps).

“African leaders are generally among the most conversational Twitter users,” the study noted.

Some observers took issue, however, with branding Bildt a “world leader”, as the former Swedish prime minister nowadays has foreign affairs in his cabinet briefcase.

“Which bit is exaggerated – “best connected” or “world leader”?” tweeted Toby Vogel, a staff writer at the Brussels-based paper European Voice.

TT/The Local/at

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