It’s estimated that as much as $1 billion could be spent on social media and online campaigning by the time this year’s U.S. presidential campaign is over. Yes, billion, with a “b.” While the amount is staggering, it’s not that surprising when you consider just how important social media has become — just look at its role in the Arab Spring or the Ukrainian revolution of 2014, for example. And while there’s much dispute over social media’s influence on the political forum’s integrity, it’s now an undeniable influence.
The amount of Americans following political figures on social media has more than doubled in recent years. So, of course, the number of political figures using social media has also grown.But it isn’t just U.S. politicians who are getting social. Leaders from other nations are also leveraging the medium’s power and influence. With all these high-ranking officials, social media can be a great source for gathering political news and information, but it can also be a quagmire to navigate.
Thankfully, we’ve narrowed down the list to the 33 political figures you should follow on social media. Whether you love them or hate them, these politicians either helm some of the most powerful countries in the world, frequent news headlines, wield intense amounts of influence, or possess some level of social media savvy – or some combination of all four. Consider this your cheat sheet, not just to American politics and the 2016 presidential campaign, but to foreign politics and world issues. Now, time to break out the pocket translator.