Late last week, Twitter launched a new official account to track interesting uses of the site by governments, organizations and political figures.
The @Gov account only has 13 tweets, but it already has a clear mandate: to tweet about examples of engaging political campaigns and government initiatives on Twitter.
Specifically, its bio reads:
“Updates from the Twitter Government & Politics team, tracking creative & effective uses of Twitter for civic engagement. RTs & examples≠political endorsements.”
Located in Washington DC, this is one of the initiatives of Twitter’s political team, headed by Adam Sharp and staffed by Colin Crowell (and, considering the scope of Twitter’s influence with the political elite, likely several others).
So far, the account has mostly been tweeting about political figures who are using the new #LetsFly profile page effectively, which was launched along with the redesign last week. It is also retweeting a fair bit, and replying to its followers – good signs of engagement from such a young account.
The US government and politicians are quite active on Twitter, so you can expect @Gov to be just as active. With Twitter Town Halls a now-common occurrence, the Obama administration asking citizens to tweet their support of proposed legislation, and several of the Republican candidates having hundreds of tweets and hundreds of thousands of followers, Twitter is quickly becoming the social network of choice for the political elite.
And although Twitter alone won’t make or break a political figure (well, maybe it can break them), it’s an important tool for reaching citizens and improving civic engagement.