With the U.S. Presidential election less than four months away, we can start preparing ourselves for a jam-packed closing stretch of party conventions, debates, and political analysis. And today, CNN and Facebook have announced a partnership that they say will make CNN's election 2012 coverage a more social experience.
The first stage of this partnership involves a new app. Called "I'm Voting," the app will allow Facebook users to put their political beliefs out there for everyone to see. Once users decide to broadcast the fact that they will be voting this November and endorse a specific candidate, that info will be pushed to their Timeline as well as their friends' Tickers and News Feeds.
The app will also allow users to comment on specific campaign issues. On CNN's side of things, they will use the app to ask questions and prompt discussion for their election coverage.
That app will be available in English and Spanish.
The partnership is really all about grabbing information, and the two companies say that they'll be working to "measure metrics" and survey voters in order to provide comprehensive coverage of the election from a geographic and demographic standpoint.
As the campaigns progress, Facebook will report the aggregate amount of discussion surrounding each candidate and CNN will drill down on specific state-by-state analysis.
Facebook and CNN will survey voting-age users in key U.S. locations and demographics around the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Presidential Debates, Election Day and other significant dates on the political calendar. CNN’s editorial department will work with Facebook’s research team to write the questions and publish the results on CNN, CNN.com, and on the U.S. Politics on Facebook page, Facebook’s hub for campaign 2012 information.
Here's the U.S. Politics Facebook page as they announce the partnership this morning:
"Each campaign cycle brings new technologies that enhance the way that important connections between citizens and their elected representatives are made. Though the mediums have changed, the critical linkages between candidates and voters remain," said Joel Kaplan, Facebook Vice President-U.S. Public Policy. “Innovations like Facebook can help transform this informational experience into a social one for the American people.”
We know that this election is going to be the most "social" election of all time, as all of the GOP primary contenders and now President Obama and (eventual) Republican nominee Mitt Romney have had to make serious efforts to build a presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
And though you may get a little tired of some of your political friends' public updates about their stances on certain policy issues, it's hard to argue that a more informed electorate is a better electorate, and will 160 million U.S. users, Facebook is a good place to start.