Straits Times retains top spot for Singapore news on Twitter

@STcom attracts some 567,000 followers, a 54 per cent jump from start of the year

SINGAPORE - For the second year running, The Straits Times is the No. 1 news outlet in Singapore on Twitter.

Its Twitter account, @STcom, is the most followed Singapore-based news account, with some 567,000 followers, Twitter announced yesterday.

That is a 54 per cent increase - or about 194,000 more followers - from the start of the year.

Channel NewsAsia came in second with 459,000 followers, while Today newspaper took the third spot with 308,000 followers.

STcom was created in May 2009 and has since attracted a steady stream of followers with its accurate, round-the-clock updates on the latest breaking news.

STcom was created in May 2009 and has since attracted a steady stream of followers with its accurate, round-the-clock updates on the latest breaking news. Coverage of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's funeral in March and the nation's SG50 celebrations were among STcom's top tweets this year.

Coverage of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's funeral in March and the nation's SG50 celebrations were among STcom's top tweets this year.

Mr Rishi Jaitly, Twitter vice-president of media for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, said: "We know one of the most popular ways Singaporeans use Twitter every day is to catch up on the morning news by scrolling through their Twitter timeline."

Said Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez: "Our aim is to get the news to our readers whenever, wherever and however they want it. Our multimedia newsroom is now geared to doing this, so we are glad Twitter users are reading us on their feeds through the day.

"It means we are in contact with ST readers throughout the day, and constantly engaging with them."

The top STcom tweet this year, with 3,300 retweets, was the announcement that all primary and secondary schools would close on Sept 25 due to the worsening haze.

Trailing closely was the picture of a local comic artist's sketch of the late Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew, with 3,088 retweets.

The story of a heroic foreign worker who saved a toddler who was stuck between the railings outside a second-floor Housing Board unit garnered 2,593 retweets.

Civil servant Muhamad Farhan, 29, said he followed STcom for its coverage of major events in the region and beyond.

Another follower, accountant Brian Goh, 37, said Twitter was his go-to social media platform for breaking news. "I find myself relying on ST's Twitter updates of local events such as the recent general election and City Harvest Church trial," he added.

Twitter also released a list of the top 10 non-news Singapore-based accounts.

Singapore Airlines took the top spot with 344,000 followers, while anime enthusiast Mr OtakuComedy was a close second with 322,000 followers. Blogger Xiaxue came in third with 277,000 followers.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong jumped seven positions from last year to take the fifth spot with 247,000 followers.

The social media platform also highlighted "influential" moments in Singapore's Twittersphere.

Some 1.2 million tweets with the hashtag #RememberingLKY were sent out in the week following Mr Lee Kuan Yew's death on March 23 at the age of 91.

The National Day Parade, meanwhile, saw over 230,000 tweets, setting a local Twitter record for the most number of tweets generated during a one-day event.

• For a selection of the top tweets from @STcom this year, go to http://str.sg/ZDCh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'ST retains top spot for S'pore news on Twitter'. Print Edition | Subscribe