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Departmental Internet

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the annual cost of (a) maintaining and (b) updating the Twitter accounts (i) foreignoffice, (ii) britishabroad and (iii) fcocareers; and how many staff of his Department are responsible for updating each account. (292049)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains a presence on Twitter as part of our wider digital communications strategy. Twitter is a free tool that allows us to communicate the work of the FCO to a global audience who might not normally visit our websites, and at minimal cost.

There is no financial cost to setting up or hosting FCO Twitter accounts. FCO Twitter accounts are updated by FCO staff as part of their existing communications responsibilities. We estimate that @foreignoffice and @britishabroad each takes approximately 15-30 minutes a day to update with an additional 15-30 minutes to assess the uptake of our messages and monitor relevant traffic on other channels. The account @fcocareers takes minimal resource to update since most of its content is automatically generated.