Government adoption of Twitter continues rapid growth; hits 4,000 IDs

I was adding some IDs to this week when I realize a new milestone was reached as the directory now exceeds 4,200 IDs. While I haven’t keep a timeline of month-to-month growth, a post from July 19, 2010 mentions that the database was slightly under 3,000 IDs a year ago, so were looking at ~43% growth year-over-year.

The numbers:

  • GovTwit now features 4,284 Twitter IDs culled and tagged at all levels of government globally.
  • Combined, this group reaches over 79.6 million followers.
  • There are government Twitter IDs from 79 countries representing leaders of nations, federal agencies, state/regional accounts, and local IDs.
  • For U.S. federal agencies, the  State Department has the largest number of IDs listed (at 282, with a companion Twitter list here), followed closely by the Department of Defense, with 252 accounts listed. HHS and related accounts take the third spot, with 99 accounts tracked.
  • California leads the IDs tagged in the State & Local category with 176 IDs, Texas comes next with 106 IDs, and Florida follows with 94 IDs listed (these include members of Congress).
  • Outside of the U.S., the UK is represented well with 298 accounts. Canada takes the second spot with 98 IDs, and Australia rounds out the top three nations with 38 accounts.

GovTwit may be the largest government social media directory, but it should be noted that as a hand-curated project it still captures only a small percentage of all the government entities, workers, media and contractors who use Twitter every day to share information with constituents, citizens, residents, colleagues and other interested audiences. You may want to visit this list of 50+ other directories/resources for government and politics that are also useful resources for academics, reporters, social media specialists and others that want to get a better feel for how government is adopting new media tools and channels.

As GovTwit approaches its third anniversary this fall, I hope to continue to curate content and grow the directory. I also hope to see how the underlying software platform can be expanded to allow for other URLs to be listed (Facebook, blogs, GovLoop, etc), as well as to allow self-submission to the directory. Given this is a non-profit, personal project, if anyone has ideas on how to cost-effectively accomplish these types of changes, please feel free to ping me using the contact tab above.

Update: An additional 172 IDs were added since this post was first published this morning; stats have been updated accordingly.

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