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Image: Facebook Likely to Be a Major Player in 2016 Campaign
(AP)

Facebook Likely to Be a Major Player in 2016 Campaign

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 06:38 AM

Facebook has doubled the size of its government and politics team since the 2012 presidential election — and it stands to have a huge presence in the 2016 race.

"Facebook is going to be the advertising monster of 2016," Zac Moffatt, a co-founder of Targeted Victory, a Republican technology firm, told The New York Times.

The company ran former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2012 digital effort.

"They have the largest audience, a dominant set of tools for advertising, and the most aggressive approach to allowing campaigns to leverage their data to maximize efficiency and minimize waste," Moffatt said.

With 189 million monthly users in the United States alone, Facebook has approached every presidential campaign on its services, the Times reports, as candidates seek to reach and tap into new supporters and donors.

Political advertising is expected to quadruple to $1 billion for the 2016 campaign — and Facebook expects to increase its revenue from previous cycles, the Times reports.

Based in Washington, Facebook's government and politics operation includes employees devoted to Republicans or Democrats. It is headed by Katie Harbath, the former chief digital strategist of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Among its new products are the site’s improved video capacities and the ability for campaigns to upload their voter files directly to Facebook, according to the report.

"There’s a level of precision that doesn’t exist in any other medium," Crystal Patterson, a Facebook government and politics outreach manager who works with Democrats, told the Times. "It’s getting the right message to the right people at the right time."

Other digital services are working the campaigns, too.

Snapchat, the fast-expanding video- and photo-sharing mobile app, allows advertisers to target users pegged to a certain event, like a presidential debate, for instance.

With Twitter, advertisers or campaigns can direct their ads only to people using a certain keyword or hashtag, the Times reports.

For Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's announcement this month, his team posted his campaign logo nine days earlier on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Each day brought a new square until the full logo was revealed.

"It’s a way to get folks engaged," said Matt Oczkowski, the Walker campaign's chief digital officer, told the Times. "We saw a 30 percent lift on Instagram off this promotion, and we didn’t have to spend any money."

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Facebook has doubled the size of its government and politics team since the 2012 presidential election - and it stands to have a huge presence in the 2016 race.
facebook, campaign, politics, advertising, candidates
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2015-38-30
Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 06:38 AM
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