Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been ranked the fifth most followed global leader on Instagram, according to a research study released by global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller earlier this month.
Over the past five years, governments and world leaders have increasingly flocked to the mobile photo and video sharing network to present more personalized images of themselves to a global audience.
In Indonesia, Jokowi uses several social media platforms – including Instagram – to share pictures and videos to engage with millennials and draw the public to participate in the country's political processes.
Burson-Marsteller presented the report, titled "Most Followed World Leaders on Instagram," which ranked 10 world leaders based on how many social media followers they have managed to accumulate and engage with.
The study showed that the number of users who follow Jokowi's Instagram account – @Jokowi – grew a stunning 673 percent over the past 12 months to a total of 3.7 million users.
The president also ranked fourth on the firm's "World's Most Interactive Leader" list, recording a total 17 million interactions with followers last year.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi topped the list with 6.8 million followers, ahead of US President Donald Trump with 6.3 million.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis ranked third with 3.7 million Instagram followers, narrowly leading the White House's official Instagram account with a total of 3.4 million.
The firm also recorded Jokowi as having a 3.68 percent interaction rate, averaging 59 thousand likes per post. President Trump surpassed the Indonesian leader with a 3.39 percent interaction rate, averaging 111,000 likes per post and placing him fourth on the "Most Effective World Leaders on Instagram" list.
However, Modi topped that list as well, with each of his posts receiving an average 223,000 and comments or likes per social media post. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ranked sixth on the most effective list, recording a user interaction rate of 6.4 percent.
Over the past 12 months, Khamenei garnered a total 89 million interactions to his 1,423 social media posts, surpassing Pope Francis's 45 million interactions but behind Trump's total of 114 million.
Donald Baer, chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, said in a statement the study aims to show the popularity and effectiveness of how world leaders and governments communicate with their constituents on digital platforms.
"Leaders around the world are pursuing daring communication techniques that show [...] personality and creativity. Leaders in business and other sectors can learn from the way the government uses Instagram."
To expand their social media accounts, some world leaders hire official photographers to capture moments, or do it themselves by taking "selfies," or self-portrait photos typically captured through smartphones.
Through his official Instagram account, President Jokowi is among 13 world leaders who have uploaded selfies to Instagram, including Argentine President Mauricio Macri (@MauricioMacri), Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (@PenaNieto), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (@ Damedvedev) and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (@Erna_Solberg).