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Twitter released information Wednesday that the microblogging service has more than 140 million active users, sending more than 340 million tweets per day, which means its reach is only growing.

As an example of the type of influence a department of government can have through social media, Ross described an initiative known as “Text Haiti” that the State Department set up in January 2010 that allowed Americans to donate relief funds through a text. The initiative was heavily promoted at the time by the White House.

“We set up the program overnight, with no meeting, no clearances and no budget,” Ross said. “We thought it was a good idea that might raise a few hundred thousand dollars but, after using the ‘dark arts’ of social media, we raised $35 million in just two weeks.”