Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an avid user of social media, is the third most followed world leader on micro blogging website Twitter, next only to U.S. President Barack Obama and the Pope.

Mr. Modi, who overtook Indonesian President S.B. Yudhoyono on Thursday, has 5.09 million followers. Mr. Obama has 43.9 million followers, while the Pope has over 14 million and Yudhoyono has 5.08 million.

“This shows how Mr. Modi has been actively using Twitter to connect with the masses reinforcing the tool of digital diplomacy in a larger context making the social media platform a powerful channel for communicating and engaging with all Indians across the country,” Twitter said.

Interestingly, on Wednesday Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is on a five-day trip to India, said Mr. Modi was the second most popular politician on the social networking site with over 18 million Facebook likes, Obama being the first.

Twitter said Mr. Modi’s Twitter account had grown by more than one million followers since his election win, while the official account of the Prime Minister’s office (@PMOIndia) has grown more than 40 per cent since his swearing-in ceremony.

Mr. Modi’s election victory tweet “India has won!” remains the most retweeted tweet of all time from India.