The Straits Times tops Twitter’s list for news in Singapore

STcom, which started in May 2009, has been steadily attracting followers with its constant stream of timely and accurate news updates.
STcom, which started in May 2009, has been steadily attracting followers with its constant stream of timely and accurate news updates.

The Straits Times’ Twitter account - @STcom - is the No. 1 news outlet on the online social networking service.

With about 373,000 followers, it tops the list of news organisations in Singapore, according to official statistics released by US-based social media platform Twitter on Wednesday.

STcom, which started in May 2009, has been steadily attracting followers with its constant stream of timely and accurate news updates.

The number of followers, a majority of which are from Singapore, has increased by about 30 per cent since the start of the year.

Breaking news on the Malaysia Airlines double tragedy in March and July, the military coup in Thailand in May and the World Cup in Brazil in June were among some of STcom’s top tweets this year.

Mr Parminder Singh, Twitter’s managing director for South-east Asia, India, Middle East & North Africa, said: “Singaporeans are a curious lot - inquisitive about what’s happening around them. The Straits Times plays the role of a trusted source of news for users to stay aware of events globally, regionally and locally.”

For instance, news that “#Singapore is sending C130 aircraft to search for missing #MAS aircraft” was retweeted 2,700 times.

A study on how “Singapore among cities in the world with least hours of sleep” also resonated, garnering 2,500 retweets.

“Gracious Japanese fans clean up at Sports Hub despite Japan's heavy 4-0 defeat to Brazil,” saw 3,400 retweets, while a funny graphic on World Cup memes was retweeted 3,500 times.

Fund manager Michael Tay, 34, said he relies on STcom to provide quick and accurate bite-sized news. “I hardly have time to read anything at length on a busy day. Scrolling through my Twitter feeds solves that problem.”

Another STcom follower, freelance writer Abdul Ismail, 28, added: “There’s just too much nonsense out there. At least I know information is more trustworthy when it appears on STcom.”

But it is not just news that has drawn the Republic to the platform (see full list below).

Singapore-based fashion and lifestyle online portal Wardrobe Trends Fashion has the most Twitter followers - at 535,000.

Pop singer Wiltay, who recently won the Best Pop Album of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards, has the second largest following.

Other noteworthy people or organisations on the list includes Pastor Joseph Prince (7th), blogger Xiaxue (8th), Singapore Airlines (11th) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (18th).

The range of accounts in the top 20 list indicates that the interests of Singaporeans are varied, said Mr Singh.

The top accounts in India and Indonesia for instance, are dominated by celebrities, musicians and actors.

“At the end of the day, content is king - great content ensures your tweets can be carried far and wide. One doesn’t need to be a celebrity to strike a chord,” Mr Singh added.

Twitter has 284 million active users worldwide, who send out about 500 million tweets a day.

darylc@sph.com.sg

Here are some of STcom's top tweets this year: