World Leaders Who Have Fewer Twitter Followers Than Kobe Bryant

Sean Hojnacki@@TheRealHojnackiFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

Kobe Bryant created a Twitter account just over two months ago, and he's already nudged above 1.7 million followers

As of March 17, Kobe had 1,713,000 followers to be precise, putting him amongst the NBA's social media elite.

That's pretty good for an athlete, but he can't compare to the major players in geopolitics. 

POTUS Barack Obama (28.4 million followers) is the political king of Twitter.

Ah yes, there's no better way to celebrate St. Paddy's Day than to hoist a lovely pint of Guinness with two pasty-faced Irish lads.

Other heads of state who are more popular than Kobe include: deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (4.2 million followers), President Abdullah Gul of Turkey (2.9 million), Queen Rania of Jordan (2.6 million), President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil (1.8 million) and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner (1.7 million).

That's a pretty short list, putting Kobe behind just five living political leaders. It's especially impressive considering that among the 164 countries that have a head of state, 75 percent of them tweet (per Digital Policy Council).

Pope Francis (), who has been on the job for less than a week, tweeted exactly once and has already outpaced Kobe (the Pope has nearly 2 million followers on Twitter).

Plus, he's got a pretty cool handle.

While Kobe is one of the best basketball players of all time, you would think being the leader of a nation would have more currency in the Twitterverse.

But you have to be someone special to garner more "tweeps" than Bryant. Just being a president, prime minister or queen won't cut it. 

While Mamba does have a couple of presidential tweeters nipping at his heels in terms of followers, he can rest assured he'll always be a better baller than them.

Here are the top world leaders who came up short of Vino.


Colombia: Juan Manuel Santos, , 1,702,000 followers.

Juan Manuel Santos is not, in fact, meeting with ad icon Juan Valdez. He's renewing his commitment to the cafeteros, Colombia's all-important coffee growers. It appears his cup runneth over. No, seriously, stop pouring!


Mexico: Enrique Peña Nieto, , 1,702,000 followers

Enrique Peña Nieto is an avid tweeter, and he shared a devious plan with all of his followers: "Let's open Mexico to the world and we will bring the world to Mexico. It is time to become tourist power" (per Google translate).

World, Mexico is open. You're on notice. And escape is impossible.

United Arab Emirates: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, , 1,591,000 followers

His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has some cryptic opinions and sounds like he may have seen Waterworld too many times. He also shares a title with Snoop Lion. 


Malaysia, Mohd Najib Tun Razak, , 1,366,000 followers

Mohd Najib Tun Razak is all over social media! It's funny, because you wouldn't think it after looking at him. 

Chile: Sebastian Pinera, , 994,000 followers

Sebastian Pinera has some tough news for anyone with a degree from a Chilean university: "We inherited a bad system of accreditation of higher education, which did not guarantee quality or prevent corruption" (per Google translate).

Oh well. Those four years at Santiago State U were still a blast!

Russia: Dmitry Medvedev, , 550,000 followers 

Dmitry Medvedev loves the ladies so much, he sends them flowers on Instagram. Smooth.

France: François Hollande, , 531,000 followers

François Hollande insists that he "will continue to visit the institute trades Clermont-Ferrand in meeting the apprentice hairdressers" (per Google translate).

Well, no one said being the president of France would be easy.

India: Manmohan Singh, , 477,000 followers

Someone should tell Dr. Manmohan Singh that putting "FACT" before you write something is not a particularly persuasive tactic.

Also, the chart is essentially unreadable without some guessing (those are percentages and the red indicates negative?), but at least Dr. Singh has a great background on his profile page.

Thailand: Abhisit Vejjajiva, , 467,000 followers

Thailand is a fantastic country. Just don't plan on reading any signs while you're there. And good luck pronouncing "Abhisit Vejjajiva" correctly. 

Use this basic rule of thumb: Don't insult the King, and you'll do just fine.


Canada: Stephen Harper, , 315,000 followers

Does Stephen Harper really know how to play the horizontal half-accordion? Or is he just pantomiming up there?


United Kingdom: David Cameron, , 259,000 followers

Nowadays, putting your arms around young boys on the doorstep of your house is frowned upon, but it's nothing out of the ordinary for David Cameron.

I can't imagine he's a fan of One Direction's pop music, but at least it's for charity. They really should've done Cameron's hair like theirs just for the video and photo.



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