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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Facebook Closes Down Path Obama Used To Reach Voters in 2012

Described as "one of the most sophisticated social targeting efforts ever undertaken," an application the Obama campaign developed to reach voters through their Facebook social networks in 2012 will no longer be an option for anyone in 2016 given changes implemented by Facebook.
And it's a big deal and it's driven by privacy concerns. In essence, by using technology, a campaign could supply a contact with a list of individuals within their social network ranked in terms of their potential to be open to, or persuaded to support the Obama campaign. It wasn't simply social broadcasting; it was more targeted and consequently more efficient and effective. Now, with less third party data share-able with apps, the technology can no longer be exploited in that manner.
“It’s a fairly significant shift,” said Teddy Goff, who was Obama’s digital director in 2012, and oversaw the effort that helped the Obama campaign gain a Facebook following of 45 million users that year. Goff’s team used Facebook and other tools to register more than a million voters online and to raise $690 million online in 2011 and 2012.
The app "helped supporters target their friends with Obama-related material."  “The thing we did that will be most affected — by which I mean rendered impossible — by the changes they're making is the targeted sharing tool,” said Goff.
The Romney campaign also started doing this, but only in October, a month before the presidential election.
Then in the spring of 2014, Facebook — responding to growing privacy concerns — cracked down on how much information third-party applications could gain about those who installed the apps.
“We've heard from people that they're often surprised when a friend shares their information with an app,” wrote Facebook engineering manager Jeffrey Spehar in a blog post. “So we've updated Facebook Login so that each person decides what information they want to share about themselves, including their friend list.”

Facebook Closes Down Path Obama Used To Reach Voters in 2012
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 03:15:19 GMT


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