Pope Francis's Twitter following reaches nearly 10 million
Reaches 60 million people indirectly, Vatican estimates25 October, 16:34
Four million of the 9,980,000 followers read the pope's messages in Spanish.
The pontiff's missives can be read at @Pontifex in nine languages, including Latin and Arabic.
"For us, the important thing is this: it is the pope who wants to speak with today's men and women with a language that is understandable and commonly used," the Vatican's head of social communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, told Vatican Radio in an interview.
"He is using the language of the 'tweet', or just 140 characters, to reach his followers," Celli said.
"A pope's tweet is then 're-tweeted' by his friends and, according to a calculation...more than 60 million people receive the pope's 'tweets'".
Celli described this phenomenon as a "spiritual pill" or "shower" that the pope is able to impart to help people in their daily lives.