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10 Sep 2011

The most-engaging guy on Facebook? Jesus

By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior EditorWho knew that the son of God was sosocial-media savvy? According, a site that tracksFacebook traffic, the most engaging person on Facebook is Jesus Christ.

Or, at least, his words and wisdom inspire plenty of interaction. The Facebook page for Jesus Daily—where Dr. Aaron Tabor of Kernersville, N.C., posts Bible verses, religious artwork, and inspirational messages—has spent 18 weeks in the number one spot for engagement, which includes the number of posts, likes, and comments a page receives.

"I just started it as a hobby," Tabor, 41, told ABC News. He also runs a diet business, which has a separate Facebook page. "I looked at a friend’s page and there was a little Bible app at the bottom, and I thought people would want something more."

Thirty-one percent of U.S. Facebook users list a religion in their profile, as do 24 percent of users outside of the United States, and more than 43 million Facebook users are fans of at least one page classified as"religious"The New York Times reported.

Tabor launched the page in 2009, posting a Bible verse each day. Then, he says, he noticed that fans were posting prayer requests. Now, he updates the page as often as seven times a day, adding links to news articles and videos of worship and singing as well as Bible verses and prayers. Posts regularly garner thousands of "likes" and generate plenty of discussion—a simple graphic and the words "God is welcome in our house! Yes! Jesus, we love you!" racked up 80,700 "likes" and 3,504 comments in just four hours.

According to All Facebook's calculations, Texas Hold 'Em Poker has 49,017,592 fans to Jesus Daily's 8,284,774 as of August 26 (the Bible itself has 8,090,313, and another page dedicated to Jesus Christ (category: public figure) has 2,937,587). But Jesus Daily comes out on top with 3,419,397 interactions, nearly three times as many as the second-place winner, Indonesian motivational speaker Mario Teguh—and more than five times as many as Justin Bieber, whose 35,136,420 fans interacted with his page just 630,789 times. And interaction is what Facebook is really all about.

"At first people think Facebook is just a place where people go to play games, or look at photos or snoop on their friends, but if you look at Jesus Daily and elsewhere, people are using it for very serious things," Tabor said. "To see someone in the Philippines ask people to pray for them, and someone in Kenya answer, is mind-blowing."
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