Barack Obama did not want to be second to Lady Gaga, the pop star of the moment, who recently joined Google Plus. Although the president had already opened up a personal profile last November, the White House has launched its own page on the social network by Google.
President Obama will participate in a live video chat and answer questions related to his upcoming State of the Union speech. Google announced today that Obama will participate in 45-minute live video chat on the social networking site Google+. The conversation will take place on January 30th. Obama speaks to Congress and the nation the following Tuesday.
This latest development is part of a White House effort to test new social networking tools, and the latest evidence of the growing intersection of social media and politics. It’s one the Obama camp is very familiar with, having leveraged social media to the max during his campaign in 2008.
The social networking site will implore questions over the video sharing site YouTube via its YouTube Channel. The president will answer some video-submitted questions, and will also chat directly with a group of the questioners. The stream will later appear on the White House’s Google Plus page.
Announcing the new venture social presidential Kori Schulman, director of the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy posted on the official blog:
“Starting today, we’re excited to announce that you can follow the White House on Google+. On day one, President Obama made clear that this Administration is committed to public engagement and participation. That’s why we launched the we the People petitioning tool and why you can find the White House on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other places around the web. These are just some of the ways that we aim to engage with Americans on the issues that matter the most — and now, we’re pleased to add Google+ to this list.”
The news is not extraordinary in itself, considering the Obama administration has made the Web and social interaction a strength since its establishment. Obama already has a presence across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social sites.
YouTube Soars with 4 Billion View per Day
As the importance of social media rises, so does Google’s dedication to the widespread medium. Google Plus continues to accelerate its growth and already suppresses 62 million users. And one of Google’s other channels reports significant growth as well. YouTube is gathering over 4 billion page views per day.
The site is now registering 60 hours of video uploaded every minute compared, to 48 hours of video in May. One of the reasons is due to the recently revamped design of YouTube’s site. They’ve also broadened visibility on more devices like smart televisions, and streaming media set-top boxes (Roku, Apple TV, etc.), not to mention mobile.
President Obama himself is very active on YouTube, from his run for office to answering questions submitted on YouTube, and recently just concluded Town Hall meeting.
Google has also hosted Hangouts with other political figures, including Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, which shows social media sites have been steadily boosting their presence in electoral politics.