Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Top 10 world figures on social media


Social media penetrated the heart of the world's most secretive regime this weekend, with news that Kim Han-sol - grandson of elusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il - had joined Facebook. Despite the notorious secrecy and poor human rights record of his family's regime, he apparently said he was in favour of democracy on his profile and listed his favourite film as Love Actually.

This was certainly a surprising development in Facebook terms - but compared to other world leaders and their cohorts, Kim Jong-il's grandson is relatively late to the game. Discover more about the prolific world leaders to embrace Facebook and Twitter below (and chuckle as you imagine them furiously typing a tweet on their iPhone)...

Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty caused something of a Facebook frenzy on joining the site in November 2010, with 40,000 fans rushing to "like" the new page in the first hour of its launch.

Facebook page: The British Monarcy

Number of likes: 505, 290

Typical post: "Next year, The Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Thousands of official and unofficial events are expected to take place to mark Her Majesty's 60 year reign."

Barack Obama

President Obama's personal account is currently the fourth biggest in the world, behind Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

Twitter account: @BarackObama

Number of followers: 10,371,530

Typical tweet: "Photos of the day: The First Lady shows off her tennis skills at the US Open http://t.co/Y74kvrf"

Hugo Chávez

Hugo Chávez joined Twitter in 2010, with many commentators wondering whether the famously eloquent Venezuelan president would be able to condense his messages into 140 characters. However, he has apparently risen to the challenge - and tweeting under the handle "candanga," meaning daring or rebellious - has drawn in more than two million followers to date.

Twitter account: @chavezcandanga

Number of followers: 2,136,171

Typical tweet: "Hey how's it going? I appeared like I said I would: at midnight. I'm off to Brazil. And very happy to work for Venezuela. We will be victorious!!" (translated from Spanish)

Nelson Mandela

In April this year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation convinced a British man to hand over his @NelsonMandela account handle, prompting a flurry of activity on Twitter. Tweets generally focus on key events and quotes from the South African leader's history.

Twitter account: @NelsonMandela

Number of followers: 46, 751

Typical tweet: "The human soul & human body have an infinite capacity of adaptation & it is amazing just how hardened one can come to be #NelsonMandela"

Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen Rania of Jordan jumped on the virtual bandwagon quicker than most royals and is well-known for accessibility on Twitter and Facebook - where she chats about her children, her charitable work and interacts with her subjects. "People say I am very unconventional for being so present online but the world is changing. I think the theme of our community is openness and transparency," she once said.

Twitter account: @QueenRania

Number of followers: 1,685,077

Typical tweet: "I learned something today:for inspiring teachers, schools are like home & students like family.Great lesson on World Teachers’ Day! #wtd2011"

Sebastian Piñera

The Chilean president saw a surge in followers as he tweeted his way through 2010's mining catastrophe that saw 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days.

Twitter account: @SebastianPinera

Number of followers: 589,207

Typical tweet: “What emotion! What joy! What pride of being Chilean! And what gratitude to God!” - posted after the first miner emerged from underground (translated from Spanish)

George W. Bush

The former US president faced huge opposition in office - but this barely seemed to register when he joined Facebook in June 2010, clocking up nearly 62,000 fans in just one day of launch.

Facebook page: George W. Bush

Number of likes: 1,616,373

Typical post: "A single drop of vinegar can save a life. Please join Mrs. Bush and the George W. Bush Presidential Center in giving new hope to women and their families in developing nations around the world."

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Argentina's president has a very visable presence on both Twitter and Facebook, where she posts videos of official speeches and spreads policy messages.

Facebook page: CFKArgentina

Number of likes: 260, 400

Dmitry Medvedev

The Russian authorities are not generally known for their openness, but the country's president Dmitry Medvedev - perhaps in an effort to counteract this - regularly tweets about official Kremlin news.

Twitter account: @KremlinRussia_E

Number of followers: 23,816

Typical post: "Many expect me to stand against Putin. That will not happen. It is about serving our country, not vying for power"

David Cameron

Last but not least, our own PM David Cameron had ensured he has a slice of the social media pie with profiles on both Facebook and Twitter, detailing his initiatives, policies and engagements.

Facebook page: David Cameron

Number of likes: 146,556

Typical post: "PM launches GREAT campaign to promote Britain abroad."



Women on the front line


Video: Amanda Knox arrives home


Cats turn their paws to DJ-ing



Sue Perkins on the moment she fell in friend-love with Mel Giedroyc

The Bake Off star has a beautiful point to make about platonic friendships

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Nicole Scherzinger's pamper session to Alicia Keys' colourful new hairstyle

by Nicola Colyer
24 Jul 2017

Princes William and Harry reveal the last words they spoke to Diana

“That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Jul 2017

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

“I have my demons”: Neelam Gill on racism, modelling and mental health

Stylist’s cover star is outspoken, honest and on the up

by Anita Bhagwandas
19 Jul 2017

Actresses who have braved playing iconic women from history

As Felicity Jones signs up to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we take a look at other movie stars who have played real-life legends

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Madonna launches legal battle to get her Tupac breakup letter back

The emotional letter was set to go up for auction – but Madonna says it was taken without her consent

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017