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What does Town Hall mean for digital advocacy?

Source | Linkedin.com  |  BY:Digital Strategist, MBA Candidate

Last week, Facebook* announced a new feature for its U.S. users called Town Hall. It’s a section of the platform wherein users type their address, are matched to their representatives from the local to federal level, and are given a list of options for contacting them (e.g. phone call, email, or Facebook Messenger, depending on what the elected official has enabled). As we think about how this tool applies to issue campaigns and what it means, there are two things to consider:

  1. This a step towards Facebook becoming the one-stop-shop for advocacy. Facebook already built in election reminders to ensure its users know when and where elections are taking place. Users are also encouraged to pledge to vote or share with their friends that they are voting as a way to hold people accountable and encourage friends to vote, too. As the firm recognizes its role in civic engagement, it’s encouraging to see it take that role seriously. Over the last three presidential election cycles, we have seen Facebook become one of the main places of conversation around politics, both locally and nationally. Facebook is embracing that role and giving its users easy-to-use features that connect them with elected officials and undoubtedly encourage them to be both educated and engaged. The question now will be whether Facebook continues to evolve those tools to adopt some of the same functionality we see in other third-party applications

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