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Entries in Facebook Town Hall (1)

Wednesday
Apr202011

President Obama Facebook Town Hall Revs White House Social Media Machine

ABC News(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- President Obama ventured to the heart of Silicon Valley Wednesday for a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters aimed at reconnecting with the tech-savvy voters who energized his 2008 campaign.

The visit, part of a three-day West Coast trip to sell his deficit-reduction plan, is the first by a sitting president to the world's largest social media network.

Obama's trip to Facebook also signals his belief in the growing value of social media to spread his message, organize supporters and raise money as his re-election campaign kicks into gear.

"It would make our jobs a lot easier, if these were the days when a vast majority of the American audience tuned into Walter Cronkite at night and we could just talk to 'Uncle Walter' and get our message out there," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "That's just not the case anymore."

The White House has leveraged an unprecedented array of traditional and new media, on a local and national level, to create greater accessibility to Obama and provide interaction with members of the administration.

The White House Press Office now not only produces a website, blog, YouTube channel, Flickr photo stream, and Facebook and Twitter profiles, but also a mix of original daily video programming, including live coverage of the president's appearances and news-like shows that highlight his accomplishments.

The administration launched an upgraded iPhone app and new Android app Tuesday complete with a feature that alerts users every time Obama is about to speak. The White House says more than 400,000 people have downloaded the app.

"What you're seeing on the Internet is transparency at its finest," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in an interview. "We are giving citizens across the country direct access to decision makers in the government."

Obama has amassed 17.4 million followers on Twitter and 19.3 million fans on Facebook. The White House averages 250,000 visits to its YouTube channel per month and its website received roughly 1.1 million unique visitors in January, according to ComScore.

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