Guest / Limited Access /

Twitter is reaching out to religious leaders, encouraging them to use the social media platform, 140 characters at a time.

Religion has not received the same kind of attention in the company as other categories, says Claire Diaz Ortiz, leader for social innovation at Twitter, Inc. But its growing popularity is changing that.

"The kind of content that religious users and influencers are creating is really incredible," Diaz Ortiz told Christianity Today. "They have really high engagement rates."

She hopes to help the company connect to Christian leaders to ensure that popular accounts are not being run by imposters. Twitter uses a verified symbol to suggest the authenticity of celebrities, authors, and other influencers, but many pastors have not been verified. For example, Mark Driscoll (who has about 172,000 users following his posts) and Rob Bell (who has about 80,000) are not verified.

Twitter's attempts to connect to religious leaders come after ministries have faced struggles with some other technology companies. Earlier this year, Google cut churches out of its nonprofit program, and Apple has pulled applications from Exodus International and the Manhattan Declaration amid protests on the groups' views of homosexuality.

Part of Twitter's effort included networking—the physical, handshaking, business card exchanging kind—at Catalyst, a conference of about 13,000 pastors and other attendees that ends today in Atlanta. Diaz Ortiz is meeting with speakers and attendees, planning to follow up on the company's site.

The theme of this year's Catalyst was "Be Present," with many speakers noting the struggles they face with the idea as they interact with Twitter, Facebook, text messages, e-mails, and other communication ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueChristians, Retreating Isn't a Failure of Nerve
Subscriber Access Only Christians, Retreating Isn't a Failure of Nerve
We need a tactical withdrawal to regroup the church for the days ahead.
RecommendedAmericans Warm Up to Every Religious Group Except Evangelicals
Americans Warm Up to Every Religious Group Except Evangelicals
Pew finds fewer people personally know an evangelical anymore.
TrendingTrump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Trump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Prestonwood Baptist diverts denominational giving over concerns about Russell Moore’s ERLC.
Editor's PickUrban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Urban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Why this 'new spirituality' is really just old-fashioned syncretism.
Christianity Today
Twitter Reaches Out to Christian Leaders at Catalyst's 'Be Present' ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.