Facebook to launch ‘I’m a voter’ feature worldwide after India election success
More than four million Indian voters clicked the button, registering that they had voted during the country’s parliamentary elections, according to Reuters. Thanks to that success, the company is rolling the feature out for a number of upcoming elections.
Facebook users in the EU, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia, New Zealand and Brazil will all have the option to broadcast their status as voters. Scottish voters will have the chance to click the button twice, in both the European parliament elections and the referendum for Scottish independence.
The feature was first introduced for the 2010 US mid-term elections, and by 2012, more than nine million voters had clicked it to report that they had taken part in the US presidential election.
Now that the feature is active worldwide, Facebook estimates that a third of its active users will see the message in their news feeds at some point this year – more than 400 million people.
And it’s about more than just over-sharing. In 2010, the feature was credited with encouraging 340,000 people to vote who would otherwise have stayed at home.
According to a study published in Nature by UCSD professor James Fowler, the “social, non-partisan ‘get out the vote’ message” had such a strong effect that 60,000 people who directly saw it will have been encouraged to vote. A further 280,000 users who saw the message when it was shared by their friends were also motivated to vote. “The social network yielded an additional four voters for every one voter that was directly mobilized,” Fowler said.