How Donald Trump measures up on Twitter

6 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Facts

Yesterday, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users for the political views they express, saying that doing so is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment.

No US president has used Twitter (or any social media platform, for that matter) as a way to message his base as much as Trump has. Trump is known for his early-morning Twitter rants, often followed up by more calculated tweets in the afternoon.

It's clear that Twitter is Donald Trump's platform of choice. It's interesting, then, to take a look at his Twitter account as data over time.

Donald Trump has 52.2 million followers on Twitter. That's 8th in the world, behind accounts belonging to Katy Perry (she's #1), Barack Obama, and Trump's media nemesis CNN. Here's how he fits in the top-10 Twitter accounts:

Screen Name

Date Joined

Tweets Count

Following

Followers

katyperry

February 20, 2009

9,204

216

109,622,398

BarackObama

March 5, 2007

15,512

622,215

102,669,243

rihanna

October 2, 2009

10,123

1,113

88,434,461

Cristiano

June 14, 2010

3,173

97

73,179,289

YouTube

November 13, 2007

22,473

1,028

72,276,516

Twitter

February 20, 2007

6,740

145

62,845,022

cnnbrk

January 2, 2007

61,469

121

55,002,465

realDonaldTrump

March 18, 2009

37,599

46

52,140,983

BillGates

June 24, 2009

2,694

186

46,130,815

BrunoMars

December 29, 2009

4,305

109

42,985,270

Following counts:

Among the top-10 Twitter accounts, Donald Trump follows the least number of other people at just 46. This means that when Donald Trump fires up Twitter, he's only seeing the tweets of 46 accounts, include Bill O'Reilly, Tucker Carlson, FOX & friends, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Drudge Report, Sarah Sanders, Geraldo Rivera, many of his family members, and some members of his administration. None of the accounts he follows are top-10 Twitter accounts.

At the other end of the extreme, Barack Obama follows 622,215 people. According to sources at Twitter, this happened during the 2008 Presidential election, when popular accounts used Twitter's "follow back" feature as a social media strategy. But most of those follows remain, which makes visualizing the top-10 following counts a bit difficult, as you can see below.

Removing Barack Obama's account reveals the top-9 in terms of number of accounts they're following:

Number of tweets:

Donald Trump has the second-most number of tweets among the top-10 accounts with 37,599 tweets. He follows only CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) which has tweeted 61,469 times. It's important to note here that @cnnbreak began tweeting more than a year before Trump did, so @realDonaldTrump has ben real busy. YouTube follows Trump with 22,473 tweets. Barack Obama follows in fourth place with 15,512 tweets.

Number of likes:

Donald Trump is conservative when it comes to liking other tweets with only 25 such instances. Among the top-10 Twitter accounts, @katyperry has liked the most with 6,185 likes. Trump isn't as conservative as @BarackObama when it comes to liking tweets, however. Obama has only liked 11 tweets while footballer @cristiano (73,179,289 followers) has yet to like a single tweet.

Striking upwards:

@realDonaldTrump has become known for his Twitter attacks. In fact, he's lashed out against many of the other top-10 Twitter accounts. In 2014, he infamously questioned number-one Twitter account @katyperry about her marriage to comedian Russell Brand:

He's tweeted up at second-place @BarackObama dozens of times:

He hasn't left third-place @rihanna alone, either:

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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