Jakartans are already familiar with the Traffic Management Center’s (TMC) Twitter account @TMCPoldaMetro, which provides followers with minute-by-minute information on the city’s traffic situation.
The microblogging website account, which has more than 1.17 million followers and 170,000 tweets, not only helps motorists avoid congested streets at certain hours, but also helps twitter users disseminate information on traffic conditions or accidents to other people simply by mentioning the account.
To be more connected to Jakartans and keep them updated, the unit has now signed up to photo-sharing service Instagram, designed for smart phone and tablet users, under the name Tmcpoldametro.
The unit’s information and technology head Comr. Purwono Takasihaeng said TMC opted to use social media to provide their enormous number of users with fast-sharing features, which is in line with the unit’s duty to quickly inform the public of the city’s traffic situation.
“Instagram is growing rapidly in terms of the number of users, and we expect people to get more real-life information that they can view directly through pictures,” Purwono told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
He said trust was also the reason behind the unit’s choice of the application. “A photo can work like evidence for the information shared by us or other users who want to disseminate information through our account.”
The US-based application that was created in 2010 and is currently associated with Facebook, Inc. and has more than 100 million active users. The TMC account itself has more than 6,000 users and has uploaded 176 photos.
Adisty, 23, an Instagram user, said that the account would be good to feed citizens necessary information as long the unit stuck to its function of disseminating informative photos. “We can at least see how severe congestion on a certain road is through the application.”
Indonesian NGO ICT Watch researcher Donny Budhi Utoyo agreed with Purwono, saying photo-sharing applications helped citizen journalism. “The police might not be able to reach and inform on the situation in every corner of Jakarta so people can help disseminate the information through social media,” he said.
Jakartans will easily find social media accounts of the city’s agencies on Twitter, for example, as is the case of the Public Works Agency, which takes and answers Twitter users’ complaints. (aml)