Pope Francis's election engulfs the Twitterverse - but Obama is still king

Pope Francis's election burst straight into social media with the first tweet on the @Pontifex account. Not that he sent it out himself.

The new Pope greets the multitude

And an alleged personal twitter account @JMBergoglio was suspended by Twitter after being denounced by the website Slate as a fake.

The real thing came after the previous pope Benedict's tweets had all been deleted. At 7:33pm - 13 March 2013 came the news from @Pontifex: HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM.

The tweet "We have a pope Francis" had been retweeted 74,000 times within a few hours.

Previously Twitter said it had seen some 7 million tweets related to the new pontiff. At its peak, the papal tweeting reached a crescendo of 132,000 tweets per minute.

That's not a record, however, Mashable pointed out.President Obama's 2012 election victory set the record at 237,000 tweets per minute back in November. Some 20 million tweets were sent on election night.

And Obama holds the record for retweets. His post-election "four more years" picture has been retweeted more than 812,000 times.

"If a new pope can't beat the 237,000 tweets number, we doubt anything will for some time," said Mashable.

The election of Pope Francis is however the second biggest Twitter event of all time in the tweets per minute range - ahead of the Spice Girls reunion concert (116,000 tweets per minute) and Usain Bolt's 100 meter gold medal (88,000 tweets per minute), both achieved during the London Olympics last August.

Social media analysis firm Topsy gave a slightly higher number of 137,000 tweets per minute, and said it saw 4 million tweets in the two hours immediately following the first white smoke.

All in all, those tweets were seen 15 billion times.

The pope also captured eight out of Twitter's top 10 worldwide trending topics in the hour after his election.

Where did the tweets come from? A good chunk (19 per cent) came from the new pope's home country of Argentina. But the US was slightly ahead at 21 per cent.

Meanwhile, according to international server hosting company Go Daddy, hundreds of domain registrations were made within an hour of Pope Francis' election being announced.

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