(AGI) Vatican City, Dec 12 - Pope Francis has 17 millionfollowers on Twitter. The new figure was reached on Friday, thesecond anniversary of the first tweet from the @pontifexaccount, reported the "il Sismografo" website. It stated: "Itwas Dec. 12, 2012 when Benedict XVI launched a series of tweetsover a few hours, thus starting a communicative experienceabout which there were more than a few worries in manyquarters. The Pope's digital messages came almost 82 yearsafter the first radio message, on Vatican Radio, from Pope PiusXI on Feb. 12, 1931." The hashtag AskPontifex was created onDec. 3, 2012 to allow people to question the Pope. The firsteight accounts were opened on Dec. 12, 2012. The ninth, inLatin, which now has 300,000 followers, opened on Jan. 17,2013. The first two tweets from Pope Benedict said: "How can wecelebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?" and:"By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tellsyou in the Gospel and looking for him and those in need". The@Pontifex account, first used by Benedict XVI and now byFrancis, has proved to be a major success. Few world famouspeople could gather 17 million followers in 24 months. . .