White House joins Google+ to further engage with voters

cybersecurity plan unveiled by white houseWith the annual State of the Union address a matter of hours away and an election looming later this year, the White House has signed up to social networking newcomer Google+ in a bid to connect with even more voters.

The move to get the White House on Google+ was announced on the White House’s offical blog in a post on Friday. “On day one, President Obama made clear that this Administration is committed to public engagement and participation,” spokesperson Kori Schulman wrote in the post.

The Google+ page will offer up news from the blog, photos and videos from behind the scenes and give voters an opportunity to participate, Schulman said.

She continued, “We hope you’ll add your voice to the discussion and share the things you find interesting with people in your circles.”

One feature Schulman said they’re interested in using is Google+ Hangouts, a live multi-person video chat facility which can work with up to ten participants.

“The President and First Lady often call the White House ‘The People’s House,’” Schulman wrote. “Well, this is another way we’re opening our doors (virtually) to citizens around the country. On our Google+ page, we’ll host regular ‘White House Hangouts’ with administration officials on a range of issues and topics.”

Schulman explained that Google+ users will be invited to participate in Hangouts with the White House and engage with policy experts. “The best part is that even if you’re not “in” the Hangout, you can watch the whole thing live on WhiteHouse.gov, on our Google+ page or on the White House YouTube channel,” she said.

Obama is widely regarded as being the first US politician to harness the full potential of the Web for the purposes of communicating with voters and galvanizing support, using it to great advantage in the run-up to the 2008 election.

Last year he took part in a live town hall meeting on Facebook for the first time, broadcasting to half a billion users. A few months later he took part in another such meeting, that time on Twitter.

The White House has accounts with Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo, Flickr, LinkedIn and now Google+, which the Mountain View company says has gathered 90 million users since its launch in June last year. Obama is also a member of these sites in his own name, including Google+, which he joined in November.

As for Google, it will be delighted to have a heavyweight like the White House on board its new social networking site as it works to push more and more users to its service.

Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.
Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Mobile

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.