The race between Pope Benedict XVI and Justin Bieber is on.
Twitter's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI had launched a Twitter account and would begin tweeting live to answer questions on Dec. 12 has sparked a new competition to see who is the most popular on Twitter — the pontiff or Bieber.
Already, the so-called smackdown has logged more than a 900,000 votes, with teen heartthrob Bieber out in front by a mile, receiving more than 10 votes to each one for the pope.
The contest is being run through andthewinner.is, a new real-time Twitter voting platform, designed by a pair of Italian hackers, Nick Balestra and partner Matteo Agosti. Each time the hashtag #popevsbieber is included in a tweet along with @pontifex or @justinbieber, a vote is tallied. Re-tweets count too.
While he may not beat the Bieb, the pope is still making a good showing on the social network. He has already reached No. 13 in overall Twitter influence in just a few days, according to Twitalyzer, a company that keeps track of the prominent on Twitter. (Bieber, however, is currently No. 3.) [Read more: Pope Challenges Bieber for Twitter Supremacy ]