Vatican City, February 28 - Benedict XVI thanked his followers in his last tweet as pope at 17:00 Italian time on Thursday, three hours before he steps down. "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives". The pontiff's @Pontifex Twitter account will remain on stand-by until a new pope is elected, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. It will be up to Benedict's successor to decide whether to continue with this form of communication, Lombardi added.