itunes & Google Play Are The Po­lit­i­cal Fron­tier

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Face­book in ‘ Elec­tion’ Deeds

Win­nie Mar­cel, a Lib­eral Arts stu­dent liv­ing in New York finds her Face­book feed highly ap­peal­ing nowa­days. Thanks to pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns. She says, amid fam­ily pic­tures, it is quite re­fresh­ing to watch a men­ac­ing video clip of Trump talk­ing about “How his view are dif­fer­ent than if he lived in Iowa”. From Cruz’s so­cial me­dia savvy team, a spon­sored ad pops up ‘ LIKE ON ABOR­TION’. She won­ders how by pay­ing Face­book, this cam­paign man­aged to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween “OURS” and Don­ald Trump’s “New York Val­ues”.

Mark Zucker­berg hap­pens to be quite ex­cited about the tar­get mar­ket­ing, although he does not let in­di­vid­ual can­di­dates tracked by pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, but surely he does al­low elec­tion cam­paigns 2016 to up­load their voter files and vast email lists, which con­sists of real names, phone num­bers, po­lit­i­cal habits, and home ad­dresses for the advertising net­work of Face­book. Zucker­berg’s team will then ver­ify Face­book ac­counts of real- life vot­ers.

The data is highly en­crypted and Face­book holds no power once the ad starts stream­ing. A mas­sive data bro­ker, Acx­iom based in Arkansas, helps elec­tion cam­paigns up­hold the in­for­ma­tion of vot­ers. Texas se­na­tor stands a level higher as he has been us­ing Zucker­berg’ so­cial me­dia com­pany’s ad ser­vices to raise fi­nance, among other things. As the first vote is ar­riv­ing closer, donors af­fil­i­ated with Cruz are spend­ing US $ 10,000 per day on ad ser­vices of­fered by Face­book.

Mitt Rom­ney, Barack Obama, and cur­rent cam­paign ad­vi­sors to for­mer dig­i­tal gu­rus and po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists agree advertising on Face­book is per­haps the best way to spend fi­nan­cial re­sources on what could be an ap­prox US $ 10 bil­lion elec­tion. 2016 has

turned into the time when ul­tra­genus Face­book learned profit mak­ing strate­gies from how we vote.

The top dig­i­tal strate­gist from 2012 cam­paign of Rom­ney, Zac Mof­fatt, whose firm has col­lab­o­rated with most of the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee and the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates dur­ing cur­rent elec­tion cy­cle says, “Face­book is the most ef­fec­tive and eas­i­est plat­form, the plat­form rests on a huge worth than what it was 8 years ago.”

The en­deavor of Face­book pro­files trans­formed into cam­paign cur­rency in­di­cates a ma­jor blow where Amer­ica’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is get­ting highly in­flu­enced by Sil­i­con Val­ley. In re­cent years, Zucker­berg- led en­ter­prise has el­e­vated its Wash­ing­ton- based lob­by­ing ef­forts to patent pol­icy, sur­veil­lance, and press im­mi­gra­tion, while in­creas­ing the size of its po­lit­i­cal size twice, and adding var­i­ous fea­tures to turn it eas­ier for elec­tion cam­paigns to reach cer­tain vot­ing groups on Face­book in what Sh­eryl Sand­burg, Face­book ex­ec­u­tive, dubs as ‘ the new town hall’.

Mod­el­ing Per­spi­cac­ity, Mak­ing Mil­lions

For the first time, al­most ev­ery can­di­date for pres­i­den­tial elec­tions 2016 is flanked by dig­i­tal plat­forms avail­able across the global web, ac­cept­ing sup­port and un­lim­ited do­na­tions from cor­po­ra­tions and in­di­vid­u­als.

As Repub­li­cans em­ploy heaps to catch up on the ad­van­tage of

The en­deavor of Face­book pro­files trans­formed into cam­paign cur­rency in­di­cates a ma­jor blow where Amer­ica’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is get­ting highly in­flu­enced by Sil­i­con Val­ley.

Demo­crat par­ties’ tech- driven cam­paigns, this time, Zucker­berg has un­veiled yet an­other brand new feature in or­der to help cam­paigns aim po­lit­i­cally ac­tive Face­book users, who might con­tin­u­ously post about lat­est in­sults of Trump or share Bernie San­der’s ex­pand­ing poll leads.

For in­stance, when Amer­i­can real es­tate mag­nate, Don­ald Trump opted out of re­cent Repub­li­can de­bate for pro­mot­ing Fox News’ boy­cott, the dig­i­tal team of Cruz deftly grabbed the op­por­tu­nity trans­form­ing the is­sue in a quick meme ti­tled as ‘ Duck­ing Don­ald’. The meme in­stantly went vi­ral and most sig­nif­i­cantly pro­vided Cruz’s team with fresh email lists, which in re­turn could re­sult in fur­ther do­na­tions and Face­book tar­geted ad­ver­tise­ments.

Face­book is in­volved in elec­tion cam­paigns since 2008 to com­mu­ni­cate with vot­ers. It all started when the first bid of Barack Obama for US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions used the Face­book plat­form to fetch sup­port­ers to com­pel their dig­i­tal friends to aid the nou­veau- riche se­na­tor. Face­book, in 2012, started cospon­sor­ing Repub­li­can pri­maries’ pres­i­den­tial de­bates.

Pres­i­dent Obama, when elected as the US Pres­i­dent for two con­sec­u­tive bids in 2008 and 2012, had 21M Twit­ter fol­low­ers and 32M Face­book fol­low­ers re­spec­tively, mak­ing him the first ever pres­i­dent to have taken into ac­count the world of dig­i­tal me­dia.

For­mer deputy dig­i­tal di­rec­tor for ‘ Obama for Amer­ica’ 2012 cam­paign, Marie Danzig quotes, “Face­book is play­ing a piv­otal role in mod­el­ing the pub­lic

It all started when the first bid of Barack Obama for US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions used the Face­book plat­form to fetch sup­port­ers to com­pel their dig­i­tal friends to aid the nou­veau-riche se­na­tor.

per­cep­tion of a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date un­equiv­o­cally more so as com­pared to the past elec­tion cam­paigns.”

The Cash Flow

“There is a rea­son why these peo­ple are putting huge amounts of money into our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem,” says Mr. Bernie San­ders. “It is an un­der­min­ing Amer­i­can democ­racy and it is al­low­ing Congress to rep­re­sent wealthy cam­paign con­trib­u­tors and not the work­ing fam­i­lies of this coun­try.”

De­spite all the conversation on the shad­owy donors, wealthy oli­garchs pur­chas­ing elec­tions, and ‘ dark money’, Mr. San­ders loves to talk about the United States be­ing sub­servient to a hand­ful of su­per- rich con­trib­u­tors of pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns and their PACS, which means the Repub­li­can can­di­dates and their as­so­ci­ates who spent the min­i­mum, yet did best as an out­come at the polls. Trump, Cruz, and Ka­sich be­ing the top win­ners, in New Hamp­shire, Trump in­vested $ 40 per vote, Cruz $ 18, Christie $ 852, and Bush with $ 1,200.

Ah yes, fi­nance and rev­enue. The year 2016 will surely sur­pass all ex­pense records, US $ 5 bil­lion or more, now which in the as­pect of free speech, a rul­ing by Supreme Court has re­moved ev­ery con­straint vir­tu­ally. Ab­so­lutely true, as of now, there is a body known as Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion, which is sup­posed to man­age the cash flow dur­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. But, this doesn’t trans­form the fact that the com­mis­sion is a per­ma­nently

The com­mis­sion is a per­ma­nently dead­locked tiger with­out teeth, maybe dys­func­tional like Wash­ing­ton sand­wiched in be­tween 3 Demo­cratic and 3 Repub­li­can can­di­dates.

dead­locked tiger with­out teeth, maybe dys­func­tional like Wash­ing­ton sand­wiched in be­tween 3 Demo­cratic and 3 Repub­li­can can­di­dates.

War on Face­book

The Cruz cam­paign in Iowa uses the so­cial me­dia gi­ant to tar­get vot­ers based on a wide range of is­sues, for in­stance, im­mi­gra­tion con­trols to spe­cific niche cause like nul­li­fy­ing state laws against fire­work sales. His cam­paign has es­tab­lished specif­i­cally tar­geted model for this group of vot­ers, which re­mains rel­a­tively small. The model may be quite re­spon­sive to ads by Cruz against high the gov­ern­ment, and in few cases is plan­ning to walk out to search for them in­di­vid­u­ally.

On the other hand, in var­i­ous ways, Don­ald Trump, is haul­ing the ba­ton from re­mark­ably suc­cess­ful elec­tion cam­paign of Obama in 2008, which is fa­mously re­ferred to as the ultimate ‘ Face­book Elec­tion’. The highly fruit­ful cam­paign wit­nessed Obama in­tel­li­gently im­ple­ment a strong dig­i­tal team in­clud­ing Face­book co- founder, the 24- year- old Chris Hughes. Ever since, Obama has made quite hand­ful dig­i­tal ap­point­ments, which in­cludes Pfeif­fer, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive of Twit­ter Ja­son Gold­man, and Matthew Mcgre­gor.

Don­ald Trump, for his part, ap­par­ently sends the bulk of his own tweets and posts, es­pe­cially when his staff mem­bers have left for home in the evening.

Mc­conney, the man be­hind the edit­ing of a ma­jor­ity of videos ex­plains, “The two most sig­nif­i­cant

as­pects of a per­son­al­ity on

On the other hand, in var­i­ous ways, Don­ald Trump, is haul­ing the ba­ton from re­mark­ably suc­cess­ful elec­tion cam­paign of Obama in 2008, which is fa­mously re­ferred to as the ultimate ‘Face­book Elec­tion’.

so­cial me­dia are to pro­vide their fol­low­ers what they want and to stay au­then­tic.”

The Big­gest In­flu­encer

The US Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion Cam­paigns 2016 has re­port­edly at­tracted the largest amount of fi­nan­cial re­sources and big­gest po­lit­i­cal do­na­tion in the en­tire course of the US po­lit­i­cal his­tory. Jeb Bush ranks first with the largest num­ber of donors with 77% of to­tal con­tri­bu­tions. Marco Ru­bio oc­cu­pies the sec­ond rank with 59%, closely fol­lowed by Ted Cruz with 58%. Hil­lary Clin­ton oc­cu­pies 32% of po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions, fol­lowed by Martin O’mal­ley with 17%, Ben Car­son with 12%, Don­ald Trump with 2.9%, and Bernie San­ders with 0.1%. Talk­ing about do­na­tions, Bush oc­cu­pies the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of donors with 58%, fol­lowed by Ru­bio with 47%, Cruz with 45%, Clin­ton with 28%, and Martin O’mal­ley with 4.3%. San­der’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign oc­cu­pies con­cen­tra­tion by a hand­ful of in­di­vid­ual do­na­tion while Trump has to dig his own pock­ets in or­der to fund much of his cam­paign.

Mar­ket­ing ‘ Pol­i­tics’

As for now, pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates are tar­get­ing users via phone and email, Face­book be­ing the pri­mary tool. With the rev­enues of the US on­line ex­pense for po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns ex­pected to out­strip the mark of US $ 1 bil­lion this year, dig­i­tal ex­pan­sion could stay within TV’S 30% by 2020.

Chris Wil­son, di­rec­tor of an­a­lyt­ics and re­search of the

San­der’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign oc­cu­pies con­cen­tra­tion by a hand­ful of in­di­vid­ual do­na­tion while Trump has to dig his own pock­ets in or­der to fund much of his cam­paign.

Texas Se­na­tor, says mo­bile and email mar­ket­ing has been found as a suc­cess­ful strat­egy for tar­get­ing vot­ers as it spreads the mes­sage rapidly as com­pared to var­i­ous other kinds of advertising. Politi­cians be­long­ing to var­i­ous lev­els are ab­so­lutely in love with tak­ing ben­e­fit from this lat­est form of tar­get­ing.

“A cer­tain seg­ment of the shift,” says Marie Danzig, cur­rently serv­ing as the head of cre­ative and dig­i­tal, Blue State Dig­i­tal, “ar­rives from Face­book, the plat­form where politi­cians re­quest for ‘ Likes’ and cranky rel­a­tives par­tic­i­pate in a full- fledged de­bate on pol­i­tics.”

In gen­eral, Amer­i­cans are used to spend­ing a large of amount of time on mo­biles. Face­book, since the last US elec­tion, has started vol­un­teer­ing video ads on mo­bile. Last year, in the earn­ings call, ex­ec­u­tives of Zucker­berg’s com­pany men­tioned- Amer­i­cans spend 1 out of ev­ery 5 min­utes for Face­book on smart­phones.

Future of Pol­i­tics

Cen­sus Depart­ment’s sur­vey states, in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion 2012, the per­cent­age of vot­ers be­tween the ages of 4564 were 63%, and for the vot­ers of 65 and above age group, the per­cent­age was 70%. The vot­ers be­tween 18- 24 years of age group, by com­par­i­son, re­mained 38% only. Since the ac­tive user base on the monthly ba­sis of Face­book has crossed 1.4 bil­lion, it has be­come highly sig­nif­i­cant for the can­di­dates to start cam­paign­ing over Face­book to drive the huge base of au­di­ence.

A cer­tain seg­ment of the shift, ar­rives from Face­book, the plat­form where politi­cians re­quest for ‘Likes’ and cranky rel­a­tives par­tic­i­pate in a full-fledged de­bate on pol­i­tics.

Ac­cord­ing to Bor­rell As­so­ci­ates’ re­search, po­lit­i­cal ex­pen­di­ture on dig­i­tal advertising in 2016 is fore­seen to out­run US $1 bil­lion up from 2012’ s US $159M on the elec­tion. This fall, Cit­i­group an­a­lysts es­ti­mated to­tal ex­pen­di­ture by cam­paigns dur­ing the elec­tion cy­cle 2016 to value al­most US $607M, which bril­liantly sur­passes 2012’ s US $145M on elec­tion. Fur­ther­more, they ex­pect Zucker­berg- led par­ent com­pany to edge- out Sun­dar Pichai- con­trolled Youtube as the largest re­cip­i­ent of dig­i­tal advertising spend­ing.

The eyes of vot­ers are pro­gres­sively glued to so­cial me­dia plat­forms based on the smart­phone, and very clearly Face­book re­ceives prof­its from it. Can­di­dates are well aware that so­cial me­dia foot­prints are im­por­tant. More than half of po­lit­i­cal ad spend­ing on on­line plat­forms this year is ex­pected to di­rect to­ward so­cial me­dia.

The eyes of vot­ers are pro­gres­sively glued to so­cial me­dia plat­forms based on the smart­phone, and very clearly Face­book re­ceives prof­its from it.

BERNIE SAN­DERS

MARCO RU­BIO

PRES­I­DENT BARACK OBAMA

DON­ALD TRUMP]

DON­ALD TRUMP]

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