Pope Benedict (Benedict XVI ‏@Pontifex) has joined the world of social media and sent his first tweet.

"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."

The tweet was sent when the 85-year-old Pontiff tapped on a touch screen at the end of his weekly general audience in the Vatican before thousands of people.