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Facebook launches ‘I’m a Voter’ feature for Indian users

10/04/2014

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The social networking giant, Facebook has introduced a new feature called “I’m a Voter” for its users in India to cash in on the election Buzz. The feature will allow users to update their status after casting their ballot.

It is for the first time in the country that users over the age of 18 will see a message at the top of their Facebook News Feed on their mobile handsets, reminding them that voting has started in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

“In addition, by clicking a button that says “I’m a Voter” they will be able to post a story to their Facebook timeline, sharing with friends that they are voting in this election,” Facebook Public Policy Director (India and South Asia) Ankhi Das said.

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However, users will be able to see the “I’m a Voter” button and the Election Day message only on the day polling in their areas.

Discussions and debates about political parties and candidates in the elections have created a buzz on social media. The elections were started on April 7 and are being held on nine days, with counting scheduled for May 16.

In order to encourage youth to vote, a number of companies have come out with various campaigns.

More that 814 million voters, including over 23 million in the 18-19 year age group, will exercise their franchise in the world’s largest democracy.

India with more than 238 million users spots the third position in the world when it comes to the number of internet users. Besides, the country has more than 100 million active Facebook users.

Moreover, political parties are using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to campaign and connect with the public.

According to digital media experts, the bulk of about 100 million first-time voters are active on social networking sites and are the main targets of parties looking to extend their audience reach.

Political parties are spending almost Rs 4,000-5,000 crore on advertisements and publicity during this election, of which 10 percent will go to the digital platforms as per the estimations.

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