Rome - Pope Francis broke the 10 million mark on Twitter on Sunday after more than doubling the number of his followers since his election in March.
"Dear followers, I understand there are now over 10 million of you!" Francis wrote on his account, @Pontifex. "I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me."
His immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, had about 3 million followers at the end of his papacy. Benedict began the papal Twitter feed in December.
Francis, however, has a way to go before he catches up to Twitter's most-followed, who are primarily pop music stars. Justin Bieber counts more than 46 million followers, Katy Perry nearly 46 million and Lady Gaga more than 40 million.
US President Barack Obama is the fourth-most-followed Twitter user at nearly 39 million.