As Barack Obama addressed the audience at a Town Hall event moderated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week, the significance of social media in the contemporary world was partially revealed. Not only did it afford the US leader the chance to address both influential technological innovators and the sites typically young subscriber base, but it could also be seen as a corporeal example of how the government can use new media to engage and excite the voters of tomorrow and effect social change.
Mr Obama used his hour long address to full effect, highlight the significance of scientific education and immigration reform to the technological innovators present, while discussing the virtues of informing and empowering youthful citizens within the boundaries of a democracy. His use of Facebook as an example to support the freedoms now afforded to citizens was key, as this is vindication for the site and social media as a whole entity. Given the efforts of social media brands to evolve their services, this is a critical signpost in their signpost.
The Changing Face of Social Media
Mr Obama is known to be a great fan of American innovation, as he believed this is the result of a freedom of thought that is synonymous with the US. Having cited Facebook in previous addresses, it is easy to see why he is so positive in his assessment of social media and their benefit to society. In 2010, Facebook became the most frequented online global resource, surpassing Google on the way to securing 500 millions users worldwide. This is a reflection of how it has evolved since its inception in 2004, and its progression from being a social network to becoming a core part of business and marketing strategies.