NASA's Twitter followers may soon get to meet for real, according to a press release by the agency.
In a statement released Wednesday, the agency announced an expansion of it's successful 'Tweetup' program. The informal gatherings are now part of a larger initiative by NASA to reach out to the public--online and off.
"NASA Social" will continue NASA's mission of providing behind the scenes photos, guest speakers, guided tours of key administration buildings and other programs aimed at engaging a wider audience beyond the journalists and science geeks who are regulars at NASA events.
"NASA has been recognized for its efforts in social media and we want to build on that process," associate administrator David Weaver said. "A Tweetup is identified with a specific online service and many participants are members of other internet communities. We felt it was time to expand the Tweetup concept to embrace other social media platforms."
Over 34 in-person gatherings have already taken place since the Tweetups first began in 2009. A web page has been set up to manage NASA's social media arm, as well as a separate Twitter account, @NASASocial to distinguish it from some of the more wonky posts @NASA and its sister accounts send out in the course of a workday. The new Twitter account has already garnered 34,459 followers since it launched--putting in the company of accounts like @NASATechnology, @JohnsonSpaceCenter, @NASAWebbTelescp many others and its overall Twitter presence is impressive with close to 2 million twitter followers.
In addition, the agency is continuing to maintain a presence of Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube, sharing photos, video, and creating their own content via YouTube channels like NASAtelevision, which boasts over 94,000 subscribers on the social media network.
NASA garnered praise last year for its social media presence, earning it the respect of the public and the honor of being one of the most popular government agencies and continues to rank high in social media (95th percentile) amongst all large federal agencies, according to OhMyGov’s Media Monitoring platform.