Social media is slowly being adopted by all entities. From political parties to government organizations and now adding to the list, the army has finally joined the bandwagon. According to Hindustan Times, the Indian Army has finally opened up it’s doors for social media and has created an active presence on Twitter. On 1st March, 2013, the official Twitter account was launched. The account has been opened under army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) and Twitter handle is @adgpi.
The Twitter account has already procured a followership of more than 3K and the activity has been pretty decent too. In addition to the Twitter presence, the Indian Army has plans to create its presence on Facebook and YouTube too.
A positive and a very interesting move from the Indian Army since last year it had said “NO” to social media. In January, 2012 the Indian Army had issued orders asking all personnel — both officers and other ranks — who had joined social networking sites like Facebook or Orkut earlier to immediately quit them, and also directed those who had not joined such sites not to do so in future. The decision was made by the Army on the grounds of security and internal threat. In fact, the decision was followed just after two days when a Naval Board of Inquiry (BoI) had recommended for action to be taken against four senior naval officers who were in alleged possession of highly classified information and leaking them through social networking sites.
However, banning the medium was just a quick fix (a point I had debated on earlier). In a world where other countries such as US have created an impressive presence on social media - with not only the army updating about the challenges the officers face but also using the medium to motivate youngsters to join the army and serve the nation – India cannot afford to ignore social media.
With the change in perception, let us see how the Indian Army uses social media. It has already got some thoughts from Twitter influencers like Shashi Tharoor on the bureaucratic Twitter handle and has advised that it should have “Indian Army” in it’s name. This makes sense and I hope @adgpi is listening to conversations on Twitter.
Good luck Indian Army!