MANILA, March 13, 2013— Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s Facebook page showed an unusual spike in “likes”, growing by more than 5,000 in four days.
The notable increase was particularly started a day before the cardinals around the world sequestered themselves in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican for the conclave.
As of Wednesday, over 130,000 people have “liked” Tagle’s Facebook page, which is run by Jesuit Communications.
“The increase actually started that day (Feb. 26) when he left for Rome,” said Raymon Ritumban, JesCom production coordinator.
According to him, the reason for the spike may have something to do with the news reports that the cardinal is among the “papabili.”
All cardinals are papal contenders but Tagle is among those seen to be to strongest candidates to become pope.
Ritumban said people liking Tagle’s Facebook are coming from different countries like Poland, Italy, Australia, Spain, Puerto Rico, US, and other Asian nations.
“They even leave comments in their native language that we no longer understand,” he said.
Ritumban said new “likes” to the Manila archbishop’s Facebook page does not go below 1,000 daily since last Saturday, which was only at around 125,000.
He added that even the JesCom’s website, www.jescom.ph, is also experiencing “heavy traffic” as many people try to access Tagle’s videos.
Ritumban said there were times when the site’s visitors had to wait for minutes before the pages could load.
“Actually, the site is undergoing troubleshooting now because the increasing number of visitors this week slowed the site down,” he added.
The Discovery News earlier reported that Tagle is the most prominent and active cardinal on Facebook and considered as the netizens’ top papal contenders. (Roy Lagarde)