Twitter chief vows to help Indonesia fight disasters
Indonesia is one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world
Twitter chief Dick Costolo said Thursday the microblogging site planned to work with Indonesian authorities to warn people about natural disasters that regularly hit the archipelago, from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions.
During a visit to Jakarta, where Twitter opened an office this month, Costolo told reporters that he and Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla had discussions about “government and Twitter working together in times of emergency to make sure in events like flooding, that people can be alerted right away.”
He also hailed Indonesia as “one of our largest growth opportunities.”
Information Technology Minister Rudiantara, who goes by one name, said he planned to discuss the possibility of using Twitter to warn people about natural disasters at a meeting with Costolo later Thursday.
Rudiantara was previously cited on state-run news agency Antara as saying that he wants Twitter to come up with disaster information systems that could provide regular updates in the event of emergencies.
Twitter is hugely popular in social media-crazy Indonesia, with 13.6 million users in 2014, according to data from online ad researcher eMarketer. The group predicts that the number of users will rise to 32 million by 2018.
Indonesia is meanwhile one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world.
It sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. It is also hit by severe flooding in the months-long rainy season that forces many people out of their homes.
Twitter also opened an office in Hong Kong earlier this month, despite the San Francisco-based service being banned in mainland China.
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