Vatican City, April 4 - Pope Francis has attracted more than five million followers to his Twitter account, the Vatican said Thursday. The number of followers "has virtually doubled" since his election on March 13, it said. @Pontifex, in nine languages including Arabic and Latin, is now being followed by 5,001,770 users of the popular social network. The new pope has already won popularity with his real-life communication skills and common touch, shown in gestures like embracing babies, washing the feet of two women in a key Easter ritual and signing a patient's cast. But he is "also proving to be an effective communicator in the new media," the Vatican said. Francis is tweeting more than his predecessor Benedict XVI, who set up the papal Twitter account, at a current rate of 3-4 tweets a week.