"The reason we're here at the RNC is because Facebook is the place where civic discourse is taking place around the elections," said Joel Kaplan, vice president of public policy for Facebook. "So, we wanted to be here and provide a great space for people to come, and actually facilitate that engagement."
Facebook will have a big presence at both political parties' conventions this year. At the RNC in Cleveland, the company's space, called Facebook Central, included a mini Oval Office, a studio where people can broadcast to Facebook Live, an Oculus Rift demo area, and a touch screen that lets people know what people are saying about the convention on Facebook.
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Kaplan said Facebook's real innovation during this election cycle is Facebook Live: "(It's) basically broadcast capability in your pocket. Anyone can broadcast, anyone can watch. And this is a really new thing for politicians and campaigns. A few years ago, in the 2014 election, Facebook really didn't even have a functioning video product...so we're seeing people from across the political spectrum take to Facebook Live to reach their constituents, and it just gives a really authentic, real-time experience."
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Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.