(News.com.au) Pope Francis’s online flock has doubled to five million Twitter followers in just seven weeks – nearly half the time it took his predecessor, Benedict XVI, to build up his following.

The account @pontifex – the word, pope, in Latin – has tweets in nine languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic and Latin. They are snippets of religious instruction rather than insights into the pontiff’s daily life.

The number on all nine accounts put together exceeded five million for the first time on Thursday.

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