Did Twitter play a hand in the Pope’s new account?

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The Pope joining Twitter was pretty big news, although it did have an air of inevitability about it. Getting one of the world’s preeminent religious leaders onto the social network seemed to make sense, but it turns out Twitter itself may have put pressure on the Vatican to get his holiness tweeting.

According to The Washington Post, the Pope is just one of several people who Twitter has approached in a bid to lure high-profile figures to the service. It also quotes a Vatican staff member as saying that Twitter made the initial approach.

Twitter’s Adam Sharp meanwhile said:

We’ve always talked about Twitter as a place to get closer to your interests. With the pope and other faith-based efforts, we’ve found strong engagement from followers who retweet, favorite and reply to influential users.

The Verge reckons that Twitter has a 20-strong team that travels around the world trying to convince celebrities, politicians and other influential figures of the benefits of joining the social network. It also offers these high-profile tweeters “free marketing, extra security against impostors, and training to avoid gaffes.”

In its 2012 roundup, released yesterday, Twitter boasts about some of the high-profile people to join the site, including soccer legend Pele, and Korean pop sensation PSY.

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