The upcoming elections may get more face time with the younger generation (and more people amidst the general population) very soon. The social media ‘cool kid,’ Facebook, is releasing a new application for desktop and mobile users, 2012 Matters: What Matters Most. The application is bringing politics to a very popular platform, one where a lot of people from the younger generation mingle (it’s entertaining enough for off hours but young professionals like it too!).
I’m no Nostradamus, though sometimes I do have a ‘knows’ for news, such as my post regarding Twitter usage, with special-mention-appearance by Rupert Murdoch. The New York Times hosted a similar article today (perhaps I should start charging the Times $20+ per week to read me, but I digress). What I was hinting at was the my prediction that Facebook is likely to do something that no one has done (P Diddy and prior ‘Rock the Vote‘ campaigns included) – get the younger generation (and more people in general) involved in ‘the running.’
How does Facebook plan to get more people down with keeping up with ‘the issues’?
The Media Platform
Before the dawn of social media sites, a time when Facebook and Twitter weren’t bringing people together in real time, politics and get-political movements had to resort to more traditional methods of marketing, such as television commercials. Facebook has more power to reach people than television commercials. Online, Facebook information is within a dynamic web, one with rich viral potential.
Additionally, the engineers of Facebook have experience understanding how to facilitate the ‘social motion’ of applications. When users download and begin using, results will appear in friends’ newsfeeds, urging them to also participate. As one could figure (and has likely experienced with similar applications), the process works well for the Facebook brand.
Taking the Politics out of Politics
Televised marketing conventions were not new, making them susceptible to consumer blindness. Additionally, very few messages were about the engagement itself (such as the ‘Rock the Vote’ campaign, with the purpose of engaging the younger population’s participation in politics), but more about choosing a political party along with respective ‘views’ and ‘agendas.’
Facebook plans to take (sort of) an apolitical approach to politics, introducing nine, broad topics:
-economy -immigration – social issues -energy
- health care -Social Security -debt -national security
Without getting too involved in the minutiae of each topic, ‘2012 Matters’ users will be urged to ‘vote’ on which topics are more important in the coming election. Additionally, the application is planned to run throughout the end of the election season without ‘siding’ with a party or political figure.
A ‘2012 Matters’ user could give feedback on an issue; moments later, a friend of theirs sees the information on a smart phone and also partakes; the users’ photos are then streamed across Reuters billboards in Times Square. No, this isn’t some cute, Disney film plot; it’s the real-to-life, real-time plans of Facebook and advertising company R/GA.
Diddy and ‘Rock the Vote’ advocates attempted to pump up the volume using commercials and live concerts; approaches of the past can’t compare to this on-to-offline-multi-media-real-time ‘ditty,’ getting whipped up by Facebook and friends.
Will this new-fangled ‘Face-the-Vote,’ (that’s mine, New York Times; give me credit if you use it) social media-fueled campaign rock the socks off the younger generation, compelling them to get involved, or will it go the way of the diddy dodo?
I think Facebook will see success with the application, possibly giving new direction regarding ways to engage portions of the population and the entire face of the nation in times to come. For instance, we want the younger generation to get involved. Perhaps Facebook engineers can create an ‘upcoming’ application, allowing people to register for the upcoming election…
Thanks for reading
Images taken from Google Images