Ever since Narendra Modi won elections in May 2014, the number of his followers on Facebook tripled from 14 million to 41.9 million today, making him the most-followed leader in the world, thanks to increased importance of social media in India.
However, in a country of 125 crore population, 4 crore followers on Facebook may sound too little but the reach of social media is still a major impediment despite Jio freebies and rural reach of mobile phones to two-third of the population. BJP as a party has more than 20 lakh followers in India.
Facebook data accessed by Economic Times shows that Modi’s Facebook Page has more followers than Donald Trump and the official PMO India page ranks 3rd with Modi personal page becoming the fourth. on the day election results were announced in May 2014, Modi had 14 million fans and the number today stands at 41.9 million.
On Twitter, another social media platform, Modi’s account @narendramodi has 30.2 million followers, which increased from 15,235 when he joined Twitter in 2009.His account ranks 35 for number of followers among all Twitter users.
Modi’s flagship programs such as Digital India, Make in India and Swachh Bharat are some of the most-engaged programs or campaigns in the country. “This is the new form of public governance,” said Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, Facebook India, South & Central Asia in an exclusive to ET.
She noted that mostly job-related programs in India have registered the maximum number of followers. “He is reinforcing the importance of internet platforms as an input factor, tool for better productivity, higher output creating brand recognition, and accessing global markets,” said Das.
“This is the rise and rise of the Prime Minister,” she added. After Modi, his ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, General VK Singh, Piyush Goyal and Arun Jaitley follow the list in number of followers on Facebook. The ministry of Information and Broadcasting, ministry of external affairs and ministry of railways are the top three on Facebook.