A recent study discovered that 66% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 in the United States own a smartphone, and smartphone usage among adults is up 10% year-over-year. However, the number jumps to 68% for people living with household incomes of $75,000 or higher.
Political campaigns, like any organisation or business want to gain supporters, as many as they possibly can. Therefore both the Obama and Romney camps have taken note of these statistics and made sure their digital strategies reflect the growing trend that is mobile.
Mitt Romney’s team published an iPhone app that allows people to take photos of events, add pro-Romney banners and easily post the images to Twitter and Facebook. Much like a political version of Instagram but instead of filters you are provided with different pro-Romney filters. The app infamously misspelled America as “Amercia” which quickly made it viral. Despite a few hick ups, the app was very popular. It had 200,000 downloads within the first 48 hours, and hundreds of thousands thereafter. Romney’s other two apps offer information about the candidates, their events, as well as ways to share content and order tickets to see the candidates speak.
The Obama campaign created a Dashboard tool. The Dashboard is an engaging digital desk for supporters and volunteers, where they can search through options for getting involved with the campaign. The tool amalgamates online and offline data, integrates existing social networks and localises information and events according to the user’s geographical area.
The team also published the Obama for America app. It provides information to supporters regarding the president’s policies, news, events, community activities, volunteer opportunities and information on how to register to vote.
Mobile applications have been become a ubiquitous phenomenon and are slowly replacing traditional websites and applications. They can be used on the go and therefore are a much more interactive experience. This article also demonstrates that apps can be used for a huge range of purposes.
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