Pope Benedict tweets for the first time

The Washington Post | The New York Times
At 5:28 a.m. ET, Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet:

It’s been retweeted more than 33,000 times in the past three hours. Not bad, but still behind the Kouichi Yamadera–Rie Tanaka wedding announcement.

An employee of Twitter was scheduled to be with his holiness as he hit the “Tweet” button on his iPad, Cecilia Kang reports. “Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter’s pontiff recruitment chief,” Kang writes, “has been in Rome for the past week to make sure the holiest of new members, @pontifex, becomes a social-media success.”

The microblogging service has worked to convince famous people to use its service, Kang writes; their participation “can spell big returns for Twitter, a private company that one day hopes to turn all of its users’ information into financial returns through advertising and selling analytical information, experts say.”

New York Times reporter Rachel Donadio asks a question I’ve been wondering about since the pope’s Twitter account was announced:

A Vatican official has said that papal tweets, as with everything written by the pope, will be part of the church’s teachings, but would not be considered infallible.

The pope’s social media debut has also spawned the world’s worst hashtag: #twope. Light a candle today and pray it doesn’t take off.

Related: Chinese citizens irked Xinhua News Agency has Twitter account while the service is officially banned in China (The Atlantic Wire)

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Steve Rhodes

    Oops, I didn’t scroll down far enough. My bad! Shoulda gone with my alternate joke about who the Pope might follow first . . .

  • Andrew Beaujon

    If only I’d discussed that in a blockquote, say around the 6th paragraph!

  • Steve Rhodes

    Will the Pope’s tweets be considered infallible?