Facebook has already had an impact on voter registration this election season, and now it wants to know who you’ll be voting for come polling day.
The world’s biggest social network is launching an “Endorsements” feature that allows you to share your support for a U.S. political candidate with your friends, or publicly with everyone.
The Endorsements section can be accessed via a political candidate’s official page. Hitting the “Endorse” button will bring up a status pop-up that allows you to add a message alongside your show of support. The post will then appear on your timeline and your friends’ News Feeds. Additionally, the Endorsements tab will also display which of your friends have already backed a particular candidate, in case that sways your opinion.
If you decide to make your status public, there’s even a chance the candidate may share it on their respective page, within the Endorsements section. A quick glance reveals both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are yet to share their supporters’ respective endorsements — although that may change as word of the newly launched feature starts to spread.
The timing of the update indicates that Facebook is trying to take advantage of the record-breaking social media chatter regarding the upcoming election. After all, more election-oriented posts are bound to fuel debate, and get more users talking passionately about politics, increasing engagement in the process. The company already keeps tabs on your political leanings courtesy of its ad preferences tool, and this is just another way for it to learn a little more about you.
However, if you are a vocal supporter of a particular politician eager to share your enthusiasm, an endorsement allows you to go beyond a simple “like” or “reaction” and put a personal spin on your support for their candidacy. Keep in mind, the feature applies to all U.S. political candidates not just the ones running for the highest office in the country.
It will be interesting to see if Facebook ever actually releases the numbers for its Endorsements feature, which also acts as a polling tool for the company. On Tuesday, the social network revealed election-related conversation is currently being dominated by Donald Trump, who generated more than 307 million likes, comments, shares, and posts last week. In comparison, Hillary Clinton received 206 million interactions.
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