French president Nicolas Sarkozy has opened a personal Twitter account.

The move comes amid great expectation that the embattled president will announce his candidacy for re-election in April.

Officials confirmed that the account already has nearly 40,000 followers despite trhe conservative leader having only made two tweets.

Sarkozy's move on to the social networking site could be seen as a new avenue to gain favour, as he falls behind socialist candidate Francois Hollande in the polls.

He is not the first leading international figure to make use of Twitter. International Business Times UK takes a look at some others.