India, Indonesia’s heads of state lead on Instagram, too
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India, Indonesia’s heads of state lead on Instagram, too

INDIA’S Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most followed world leader on Instagram, according to a new study, while numerous other Asian leaders were also highly prominent on the social media platform.

The New York-headquartered public relations company Burson-Marsteller released its World Leaders on Instagram 2017 study earlier this month, showing Modi had overtaken former US President Barack Obama with a whopping 6.8 million followers.

Obama was the first world leader to set up an Instagram account, on January 4, 2012. According to the study, Modi is also  “the most effective world leader” on Instagram, with each of his posts attracting an average of 223,000 interactions – comments and likes.

SEE ALSO: India’s Modi is TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’, beats Trump, Obama

Thank you #Surat for the warm welcome. Today was memorable. #Gujarat

A post shared by Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) on

Data for the research was collected on April 1, and in fact, Modi’s followers have grown to 7.4 million this week.

US President Donald Trump is now in second place with 6.3 million followers. Known for his candid and often controversial outbursts on Twitter, Trump’s Instagram account is even used to repost his tweets.

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has seen a 673 percent growth in his follower base over the past 12 months, putting him in fifth position with 3.4 million followers.

Jokowi is only beaten by Trump, Pope Francis (3.7 million followers) and the White House (3.4 million).

PM Malcolm Turnbull dan Ibu Lucy Turnbull menerima kami dengan kehangatan dan persahabatan. Foto: Istimewa

A post shared by Joko Widodo (@jokowi) on

Aside from Jokowi, the report lists a number of other Asian leaders including Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as those who apparently manage their own accounts and for having “occasionally taken their own pictures and selfies.”

SEE ALSO: Malaysia: PM Najib reaches out to social media users with new mobile app

Meanwhile, the Brunei government has the most active account, uploading an average of 16 posts every day.

“Leaders around the world are creating online communications that convey global social and political context while also sharing a sense of personality and creativity,” Burson-Marsteller CEO Don Baer said.

“Leaders of business and all other sectors can learn from governments’ use of Instagram.”