Microsoft Launches Social Media Platform for Politicians
Twitter and Facebook have become important platforms for politicians and public figures to connect with their constituents and fans. Today Microsoft is unveiling TownHall, a social media platform designed to further serve the needs of these political figures.
TownHall is part of Microsoft’s new Campaign Ready suite of tools and it’s essentially a plug-and-play web-based platform hosted on Windows Azure ” that can be used to build sites that support user engagement around campaign topics and encourage fan participation.
The target audience is government officials looking for ways to collect feedback and gauge the interest of their respective communities.
Those that employ TownHall can use the platform to support login via Facebook Connect, include poll questions, give visitors the ability to ask and answer questions, and reward participation with badges. The platform is designed so that the topics with the most traction bubble up to the top. On the backend, users are able to run reports and search within community discussions.
The code for TownHall was released to the public earlier today at the Politics Online Conference, but the technology is already powering NASA’s Be a Martian project and can also be seen in this demo site. We’re especially curious to see if politicians put TownHall to use and whether or not it will make Microsoft more relevant in the social media space.