Facebook will now push election “registration reminder” updates specifically targeted at India users, to encourage them to register with the Election Commission of India (EIC). Both Facebook and EIC tied up today to push these updates from 1st July to 4th July for next year’s elections. Users will receive updates in their newsfeeds. By clicking on the “Register Now” button, users will be directed to the National Voters’ Services Portal which will guide them through the registration process.
The voter registration reminder will be sent to people on Facebook in India who are eligible to vote and will be delivered in 13 Indian languages – English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya. Note that this isn’t that first time that Facebook had tied up with election bodies in India. Earlier in 2016 and in this year, Facebook made similar tie-ups with Chief Electoral Offices during the State elections of ‘16 and ‘17.
Facebook India initiatives
The social media giant claims that it has over 180 million people in India on Facebook. More than 90% of these users are on mobile. The company has also rolled two notable products/feature in India recently, apart from global features like Instant Articles and SnapChat-inspired image sharing features on all of its platforms—WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook mobile app.
–Connectivity: In May, Facebook started expanding its Express WiFi initiative in India in partnership with Bharti Airtel, with plans to operate 20,000 hotspots across India over the next few months. This was launched after its controversial zero-rating platform Free Basics was pulled down after TRAI stepped in February 2016.
–India specific features: Facebook had rolled out a Hindi text editor in its Android app, which automatically transliterates Roman characters and provides suggestions for the appropriate Devanagari character. The recent profile picture guard feature prevents misuse by disabling ways of copying images including blocking screenshots.