Social Media Analysis: How Active Are G20 Heads of State Online?

  • The University of Europe for Applied Sciences has analyzed the social media channels (Instagram, X, TikTok, and LinkedIn) of the G20 heads of government.
  • Most politicians are active on X
  • The Indian Prime Minister has the largest reach on all platforms with nearly 190 million followers

On the social media platform X, most G20 heads of state have an official account. Over 85 percent use the app, while only a third have a TikTok account. This was revealed by an analysis of the social media channels Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and TikTok of the government leaders of G20 members conducted by the University of Europe for Applied Sciences. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches a total of 190 million people across all his social media accounts, making him the leader with the largest following among those examined.

X is most prevalent among the heads of government: 85 percent have an account

Over 85 percent of the politicians examined have an account on X, making it the most represented platform. Together, they reach more than 225 million people. Alone, over 97.3 million people follow the Indian Prime Minister. Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, has around 880,000 followers on X.

“The presence on social media has become an important tool for communication for politicians worldwide. Through social networks, they can not only provide insights into their work but also quickly share important messages and interact with a wide audience. However, social media also poses a number of challenges, including the spread of misinformation, the reinforcement of polarization, and the risk of manipulation through targeted disinformation campaigns. It is therefore of great importance that politicians act responsibly, communicate differentiatedly, and actively promote integrity and awareness,” explains Prof. Dr. Jiré Emine Gözen, Vice President International and University Development and Professor of Media and Cultural Theory at the University of Europe for Applied Sciences (UE), and Chair of the Society for Media Studies.

Only a third of politicians are registered on TikTok

Of the G20 members, only seven heads of state have official TikTok accounts, including the leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Mexico, and Turkey. The largest community on TikTok belongs to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: 4.4 million followers are interested in his videos, which have already received a total of 53.4 million likes. Just behind him is French President Emmanuel Macron: with 4.2 million followers and 31.8 million likes, he is also very popular. Argentine President Javier Gerardo Milei completes the top 3 with 2.2 million followers and 18 million likes.

The newly established account of the German Chancellor currently ranks last in terms of reach, with 110,100 people. With 19 videos, Olaf Scholz has generated nearly 20 million views since the creation of the account. The video in which he presents the contents of his briefcase has already been played 3.6 million times.

Social Media Star: India has the head of state with the largest community

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches by far the most users through his social media channels: he has nearly 190 million followers on Instagram, LinkedIn, and X. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, is only active on Instagram and X but ranks second in the ranking with a total of 79 million followers. Joe Biden, President of the United States, ranks third with 57.5 million followers. The bottom of the ranking is made up of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (1.04 million), African Union Commission President Moussa Faki (411,018), and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (170,458). Olaf Scholz has a total of almost 2.9 million followers on the platforms X, Instagram, and TikTok, ranking 14th overall.

Government leaders from Brazil, Italy, and France are present on every platform

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is active on all social media platforms. He reaches over 50 million people on X, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Also present on every platform are French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni: they are followed by nearly 20 million and 13 million social media users, respectively. The leaders of China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia do not have a single account on the analyzed social media channels.

About the Study

The University of Europe for Applied Sciences analyzed the social media accounts of the heads of state of G20 members. Officially verified accounts on Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and X were used for this purpose.

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