Washington: The US` spy agency CIA has joined Twitter and Facebook, becoming an instant hit on the social media while sparking online debates over the move.
In a matter of less than nine hours, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had attracted 268,000 followers on Twitter yesterday.
And its first tweet, "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet", was re-twitted as many as 170,000 times. Nearly a lakh people made it their favourite tweet.
After seven hours of CIA`s debut on the micro-blogging site, the American spy agency made its second tweet. This time it was to thank its followers.
"Thank you for the @Twitter welcome! We look forward to sharing great #unclassified content with you," it said.
The news of CIA joining Twitter spread like a wild fire and was one of the most debated issues of the day.
"We do not comment on matters of intelligence, but now you can follow @CIA," the US State Department wrote on its Twitter handle, referring to its often repeated answer on all questions related to intelligence matters.
"The CIA has joined Twitter with the best first tweet possible," wrote a person on Twitter.
"`We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet` - CIA opens Twitter account with a joke," wrote BBC World.
CIA also joined Facebook and had more than 7,300 likes by the end of the day.
"We are the Nation`s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go," it said on its Facebook page.
CIA, in a statement, said the launch of these accounts builds the Agency`s online presence beyond its public website, mobile site and official Flickr and YouTube accounts.
"By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA`s mission, history and other developments," said CIA Director John Brennan.
"We have important insights to share and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission," he said.
In addition to posting the latest news, statements, and career information from CIA, the Agency`s social media updates will also feature artifacts and other information from the CIA`s Museum ? the best museum most people never get to see, the spy agency wrote.
CIA will also post updates and information from the Agency`s "World Facebook", a unique public resource and educational tool as well as unclassified intelligence histories and other information, it said.