Micro-blogging website Twitter has appointed 30-year-old online activist Raheel Khursheed to head its news, politics and government section in India. This post has been created in only a few emerging countries.
Khursheed, born in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, has a postgraduate degree in mass communication from Pune. The former director of communications at change.org, a US-based online social pressure group, has five years of experience in online activism and heading awareness campaigns among netizens.
Khursheed, who assumed office on Monday, has spearheaded several campaigns, including the StopRape campaign, started after the Delhi rape case last year. He also led hundreds of petitions, raising issues of injustice.
"He will manage, track and expand Twitter's relationships with journalists, editors, government officials and politicians, and increase the active usage of the website significantly," says a statement issued from Singapore this week.
Khursheed, the first Indian to assume such a position, has also been assigned to "develop best practices and new story formats, and drive adoption by news, government, political users and share those with the global team".
Sources said the move to expand in India was made necessary due to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in May.
Twitter has emerged as a major tool for political parties to reach out to their respective constituencies.
Most political parties, including the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Admi Party, have dedicated teams for the micro-blogging website.
Launched in 2006, Twitter's 140-word messaging and networking became a rage across the globe with 500 million registered users till 2012. It is touted to be one of the ten most-visited websites.
Twitter also offered an initial public offering (IPO) last year, and is tipped to have a market capitalisation of Rs 2 lakh crore.