Innovation

Video: How Facebook Live gets the masses engaged at the RNC and DNC with 'broadcast capability in your pocket'

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson spoke with Facebook's VP of Public Policy about the company's presence at the 2016 presidential conventions and how it's getting voters involved through Facebook Live.

"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.

READ: How to block Trump, Clinton from your social media feeds (CBS News)

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."

Also see:
Social media's inescapable presence at the RNC (CNET)
Photos: The tech behind the 2016 Republican National Convention (TechRepublic)
Is Twitter success of Trump and Clinton propped up by botnets and fake followers? (TechRepublic)
Clinton and Trump VP picks predicted by TechRepublic's first 'swarm AI' on 2016 election (TechRepublic)

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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