With over 170 million active users, Twitter is becoming one of the fastest growing social networks online, with the power to communicate messages in just 140 characters or less. The importance of Twitter, however, goes beyond mere numbers and lies in the types of people using it and how. With politicians and leaders around the world using the social media site, the need for a team of experts to manage policy issues for the company emerged.
In response to the growing need for a politics and government team, Twitter hired telecom and DC veteran Colin Crowell to join the small yet experienced team designed to manage global public policy. His role includes engaging with politicians in Washington and agencies involved with digital communication to help them better use the platform.
As head of global public policy, Crowell became Twitter's second employee located in Washington, working to expand the role of Twitter in policy making and aiding politicians in using the network as a tool. Crowell is not new to the country's capital and has been heavily involved in Washington politics for the last few decades.
Previously serving as senior advisor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and investing 20 years as a lead staffer for Rep. Ed Markey, Crowell has also witnessed the evolution of communication online. Profiled in the Washington Post:
Colin Crowell's fingerprints are all over some of the biggest technology and telecommunications statutes of the last two decades. He's one of the most influential tech policy operatives you've never heard of.
Despite his lack of recognition among outsiders, people within the industry recognized Crowell's talent, landing him a job at Twitter. Joined by Will Carty, the two manage everything associated with Twitter's global public policy.
When asked by The Hill if the team has any plans to expand, he responded, no, citing that "he and Carty will register as lobbyists if their work requires." Their main goal, he continues, is " keeping tabs on laws and regulations that could affect the popular social-media service."
Since starting at Twitter, his follower count has gone from 243 followers to 2,459 and continues to rise.
The evolution of the social network has made clear the prominence of Twitter in our modes of communication and understanding of the world around us. From the first primary election in January to the current conflict in Gaza, Twitter has transformed the ways in which we view politics. Colin Crowell's position, thus, makes him a key player in the future of politics, whether we recognize it or not.