In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on disseminating information through new media, Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry is planning to use WhatsApp and also integrate other social media platforms to hold ‘talkathons’.
While the ministry has been widely using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to publicise important events, it has still not utilised the potential of WhatsApp, a senior official said.
“One of the reasons that we have not used WhatApp much is because there is a limit to the number of members that can be added to a group. And to manage multiple groups, a customised software solution is needed. But we are now considering possibilities as to how this medium can be used to reach the people,” a ministry official told PTI.
The official added that the ministry is also planning to use more wide interactions that it calls ‘talkathons’, which were first held at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2014.
“By integrating different social media platforms, the ministry is planning to hold talkathons. At IFFI, interactions were held where a panel deliberated live on YouTube questions which were fired by the audience in real time on Twitter,” the official said.
The ‘talkathons’ at IFFI were received by film lovers with much enthusiasm and the I&B ministry now has plans for more such interactions in the future, the official added.
The I&B ministry has a wing that specialises in utilising the new media for the spread of information. The ministry and its associated bodies have over 16 lakh followers on Twitter, nearly 90,000 YouTube subscribers and a substantial following on Facebook.
It has managed to carry out a vigorous online coverage of important events live, including PM’s address at Madison Square Garden, IFFI opening and closing ceremonies, launch of flagship programmes and ‘Good Governance Day’ celebrations, officials said.
They said that in the coming days, the new media wing plans to spread awareness online about the activities on Swami Vivekananda’s birthday on January 12, which is celebrated as the National Youth Day.