Twitter To Replicate India's Election Innovation Globally
Social networking major Twitter is planning to replicate some parts of its India election strategy across countries where elections are taking place. Touting the Twitter election campaign in India as ‘highly successful’ this year, it is emerging as a key tool for politicians and media companies in the coming days.
In India, Twitter worked closely with politicians including the soon-to-be PM Narendra Modi who used the platform for election campaigning, and also partnered with mobile and media firms to distribute tweets online and offline. Going forward, with polling due in countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and the US this year, Twitter plans to take its India lessons abroad to expand its foothold in the political arena and increase its user base, a Reuter report reads.
It says that the company sent its top officials to Brazil to discuss the potential of the social network to senators, who are likely to use Twitter’s six-second video app Vine for campaigning after it was used by Indian politicians, the company said. For the US election, the company is scouting for partners to replicate their “Tweet To Remember” feature used in India, which enables users to add the voting date automatically to their mobile calendar using a tweet.
Twitter was first used as a political tool for the first time during the 2012 US presidential elections, and thereafter during the Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East. Today, US President Barack Obama has more than 43 million Twitter followers.
In India too, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi embraced the social media much ahead of rivals, collaborating with thousands of volunteers to spread the their message and counter criticism.Tech-savvy Modi, who now has 4.3 million Twitter followers, used the platform relentlessly. In fact he targeted the younger population under 35 through his campaigning with social media, holograms and recorded voice calls. Modi has also plans to make the service a central part of his communications arsenal, reports Reuters.
While most of his rivals lagged, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has been active on Twitter for a while now and has over 2 million Twitter followers. He was among the first Indian politicians to join the platform and has repeatedly advised his top leadership to adapt to social media platforms as a part of their renewed strategy to improve communication.
India has the world’s third largest internet user base of 239 million and more than 900 million mobile connections. Many access web on their phones, as per data. Twitter too has been looking aggresively to expand its presence in this vibrant market. Experts believe that the Indian experience will serve as a model for other countries for communication and development.
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