As people in democracies across the globe become more aware of their rights, so does the Facebook’s ‘I am a VOTER’ button. That raised thumb is not just an emoticon anymore. It has become more of a fashion statement.
Initially launched in the US, the button rose to popularity when the country voted Barack Obama for a second term. That was 9 million voters showing that they fulfilled their national duty by casting a ballot.
Another recent incident when the button went viral was when India, the world’s largest democracy voted its much awaited leader Narendra Modi to the post of the Prime minister. This time it was 4 million clicks from Indians. And this figure was well justified considering the fact that most of the battle was fought on Facebook itself. This election was more of an emotional concern than a political one. When unlike in the past, people decided that it was already too late to avoid voting. Thus, the button was a huge craze and got this huge number of clicks.
Now, this seems to be another effort by Facebook to cash upon people and their emotions. This is an effort where the actually connect to the daily life of people. It’s quite evident that this will help Facebook increase its user base, especially in the developing countries.
Now Facebook plans to use the button in other countries which would be holding elections this year. As an example, it will appear in Columbian and European parliamentary elections next week, then again for Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, New zealand and Scotland this year. After that, it will appear for USA’s mid-term elections this November when they vote for their Congress. As it seems, they may also use it in other countries although there is no official declaration.
Now coming to what this button is all about, it is a button upon clicking which, you tell your friends (Facebook friends) that you cast your vote. Anyhow, this doesn’t reveal the name of the party you voted for.
Now, as per Facebook’s plans, it will publicize this button in front of 400 million of its 1.1 billion users. Now this figure is huge and if the plan works well, it will be a major revenue generator for the company. This option would particularly appear in the user’s news feeds.
Then we reach up to the big question – the benefit of the button. Means why is it important? The importance is that people get instigated to vote after seeing their friends vote. For example, during the US mid-term elections, 340,000 citizens voted after watching their friends vote. So it was really useful in that case. Same was the situation in India where Facebook and the button played a major role in the elections.
Facebook’s spokesperson Andy Stone said that the button had a real social multiplier effect which was actually quite obvious.
This button led to Facebook’s shares ending at $59.28 which was a 2% growth. So, if an application can help the company by 2% in a short period of time, it’s a great idea to launch it worldwide.