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Obama bests Trump on Twitter with more than double the following

  • Former U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at a conference during his first visit to France since he left the White House, on Dec. 2, 2017 in Paris.  Eliot Blondet/Abaca Press/TNS



Bloomberg News
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump prides himself on being able to communicate with the American people directly through his Twitter account, but when it comes to resonating on that platform, former President Barack Obama still had an edge in 2017.

Three of Obama’s tweets were among the 10 most retweeted this year, while none of Trump’s made the list, according to Twitter’s year-end analysis released Tuesday.

An Obama tweet, published in August amid Trump’s messy handling of racially charged protests in Charlottesville, Va., was the second-most shared of the year, according to Twitter, with 1.7 million retweets. It features a photo of Obama looking into a window where a racially diverse group of children are gathered and the Nelson Mandela quote, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.”

The two other Obama tweets that made the top 10 were farewell messages from January. In one, ranked sixth on the list, he said: “Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I’m asking you to believe — not in my ability to create change, but in yours.” In the other, ranked eighth and posted the morning of Inauguration Day, he said: “It’s been the honor of my life to serve you. You made me a better leader and a better man.”

But Trump can claim some Twitter milestones. He was the most tweeted-about world and U.S. elected leader in 2017. Vice President Mike Pence’s @VP handle, which belonged to Joe Biden until Jan. 20, was second on the U.S. leaders list.

Still, Obama’s following is more than double Trump’s. The former president has 97.6 million followers at @BarackObama while his successor has 44.1 million at @realDonaldTrump. Even adding the 21.3 million followers Trump has on his government account, @POTUS, his follower count is still dwarfed by Obama’s. (The archive of Obama’s official account, now at @POTUS44, has an additional 15.3 million.)

And, in a reminder that politicians aren’t always as important as they think they are, the most-retweeted tweet in 2017 was a man who got 3.6 million retweets for a post asking fast food chain Wendy’s for free chicken nuggets.

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(c)2017 Bloomberg News