US Fed joins Twittersphere

The US Federal Reserve, the financial backbone of the world's biggest economy, said Wednesday it would try its hand at Twitter to improve communications with the public.

The central bank's board launched its official Twitter channel -- @federalreserve -- "with the aim of increasing the accessibility and availability of Federal Reserve Board news," its said.

The jump into the wildly popular social media stream, however, was by no means a slight to the board's website, www.federalreserve.gov.

The website will remain the board's "primary channel of communication," while selected announcements "will be tweeted after they are first posted on the website," it said.

The first Fed tweets refer to the latest remarks from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, the results of a study on mobile banking, and Bernanke's lecture series slated for George Washington University on March 20-29.

Other tweets will deal with its press releases, monetary reports, speeches, and testimony.

While a first for the Fed's board, 10 of the Fed's 12 regional districts have been tweeting for some time. The Dallas Fed and the Kansas City Fed, covering a broad central swath of the country, have yet to join the Twittersphere.

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