How Modi government is faring on Facebook?

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government completed two years in power on Thursday, social networking giant Facebook has released an analysis on how the NDA-led government has been using the social networking platform to reach out to the masses.

Ministers across portfolios used the platform mostly during the last one year to connect with the public using Facebook tools like Q&A, Live, Instant Articles and Notes, the company said in a statement.

Beginning with the prime minister, his top posts between May 26, 2014 and May 23, 2016 included the one where he is seen in a picture with his mother. The caption reads: “My mother returns to Gujarat. Spent quality time with her after a long time & that too on her 1st visit to RCR.” The post received 34,047,024 likes.

Another post with 34,047,070 likes relates to Modi’s meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he thanked the Facebook founder for his support for the ‘Digital India’ initiative.

“Modi continues to be among the most liked world leaders on the social media platform, ranking second in popularity after US President Barack Obama and ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who occupies the third position,” the statement read.

Of the 50 cabinet ministers in the government, 47 have verified Facebook presence. Facebook also compiled a list of the top 10 union ministers based on their performance on the social media platform. The criteria include total likes, shares, comments, average daily posts and page size.

The list is topped by Modi, followed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of Human Resource Smriti Zubin Irani, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and former sports minister and now Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Goyal and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore have also been using features like Facebook Q&A to connect with the masses.

Anurag Thakur, newly-elected president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rathore and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani also figure in the list of ministers using “Facebook Live” to reach out to the public.

The prime minister’s personal website — www.narendramodi.in — has gone live on Facebook’s Instant Articles (IA) — a feature where publishers the world over can have full control over the look of their stories as well as data and ads.

The website routinely publishes posts that detail Modi’s daily engagements and various government schemes he rolls out.

Among the engaging posts were Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar’s post pledging support for ‘Digital India’ with 581,727 likes and Badal’s post supporting an initiative by additional deputy collector of Mansa, Isha Kalia called “Udaan – Live your Dream for One Day” that garnered 493,932 likes.

Besides ministers, 37 central ministries have also verified Facebook accounts. The ministry of external affairs with 5,706,891 interactions (total ikes, shares and comments) leads on the social media platform, followed by the ministry of information and broadcasting, railways, women and child development, finance, defence, tourism, micro, small and medium enterprises and AYUSH.

The top three government initiatives garnering support from the public include ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’.

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