New Saudi King Salman Tweets to 1.3 Million Followers After Abdullah Dies

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He may be aged 79 but Saudi Arabia's new king wasted no time in tweeting a message to his 1.3 million followers early Friday after becoming ruler following his half-brother's death.

Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud swiftly changed his Twitter name from @HRHPSalman to @KingSalman after King Abdullah passed away. In a matter of hours, his new handle received more than 130,000 mentions on the social network, according to analytics site Topsy.

"God rest the soul of Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz and grant his people the best rewards in his separation," King Salman said on his verified account at around 3 a.m. ET. His next tweet read: "I am asking god to help me serve the dear people and realize their dreams, and protect our country and security and stability, and protect it from all evil." Despite having the equivalent following of 5 percent of the Saudi population, King Salman has yet to follow a single person himself.



- Alexander Smith and Charlene Gubash