More than 100 Instagram accounts belonging to world leaders are collecting dust

instagram united nations obama
Among world leaders, President Barack Obama has the most popular Instagram account, with more than 6 million followers. But a study found one-third of accounts belonging to world leaders and other government officials and ministries lie dormant. President Barack Obama/Instagram
What do U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have in common? In real life, maybe not a whole lot, we would guess. But the one thing they share is that both leaders have an Instagram account. From Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, it seems almost every world leader has a presence on the social network. Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom was the latest to set up an account on February 10. However, according to a study by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, one-third of world leaders with Instagram accounts do not use the service.

The findings come from the Burson-Marsteller’s 2016 Twiplomacy study, which looks at how world leaders and governments leverage social media to engage with citizens. With Instagram, it analyzed 305 accounts belonging to world leaders – which includes not just heads of state, but also government and foreign ministers – of 136 out of 193 member states of the United Nations. The firm discovered that a third of those account have either been inactive for more than a year or never used. (Full list of accounts researched can be found here.)

Inactive or not, the accounts have gained 23 million followers in the past four years, since governments started experimenting with Instagram, the study says. The active accounts have posted more than 76,000 photos that show the leaders and governments in action.

“This study illustrates that governments are ready to communicate across all the key social media platforms,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller for Europe, Middle East & Africa, and the firm’s Global Chief Strategy Officer. “Each platform has its individual unique selling proposition, but it’s clear from our study that Instagram can open up new channels as well as reinforce information conveyed through other networks in a more visual and appealing way. Creativity and the use of image is critical for communicating with impact today, and clearly world leaders know this.”

In terms of numbers, Obama’s account, which started in 2012, has six million followers, is the most popular. That’s nearly three times the number of Russian Prime Minister (and amateur photographer) Dmitry Medvedev, who counts 2.04 million followers, followed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the White House account.

As for the most effective in user engagement, Obama again takes the lead, with more than 56,000 comments and likes for every post. Modi isn’t too far behind, with 42,000, followed by Medvedev. But when you consider which accounts are most active in the number of posts per day, Brunei’s Information Department, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry, and Kuwait’s Foreign Minister rank in the top-three.

2 миллиона подписчиков. Спасибо за ваш интерес!

A photo posted by Дмитрий Медведев (@damedvedev) on

Interestingly, but not surprising, only 15 of the 305 accounts studied are actually managed by the leaders themselves. Despite the Obama account’s popularity, it’s actually run by the president’s team. Of the top-ten most popular accounts, Medvedev is the only one who manages his account. Burson-Marsteller says Singapore Prime Minister Lee’s account is the most entertaining. The study found that the White House account, which features photos from chief photographer Pete Souza, is the one everyone should follow.

The increase in world leaders joining Instagram in the past four years reflects the social network’s exponential growth over a similar time period. Between January 2013 and September 2015, the number of monthly active Instagram accounts more than quadrupled from 90 million to a record 400 million. Many of the Instagram accounts show the lighter side of government; if only it translated over to the real world.

Gaming

‘Fortnite’ security flaw let hackers spy on players through microphones

A security vulnerability found in Fortnite allowed hackers to gain access to other players' accounts, potentially letting them spy on conversations using the in-game microphone. It has been addressed.
Mobile

Having trouble logging in? Here’s how to reset your Apple ID password

To use any of Apple's services, you need to have an Apple ID and know your password. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with forgotten passwords and regain access to your account. Here's how to reset your Apple ID password.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Photography

See ya, CFast: 1TB CFexpress card transfers photos at 1,400MB per second

The latest trend in professional removable storage media is fast approaching. At CES 2019, ProgradeDigital revealed its first CFexpress card, featuring a 1-terabyte capacity and bewildering 1,400 megabyte-per-second transfer rate.
Photography

From 11K to just OK: The biggest photo gear announcements at CES 2019

From 11K cameras to 1 TB media cards, CES 2019 brought a peek at new gear for photographers and videographers. But what photography gear grabbed our attention the most? Here are the biggest photo gear announcements from CES 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

What to look for and what to avoid when buying a camera

Looking to buy a new camera? Our comprehensive camera guide for 2016 has answers to any camera or photography questions you might ask, whether in regards to pricing, image quality, or weatherproofing.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Photography

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.
Photography

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Photography

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.