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Young Americans can now register to vote for 2016 Presidential Election through Facebook Messenger

San Francisco: Non-registered Americans can now enroll themselves in the voters' list through Facebook Messenger for the upcoming 2016 US Presidential Election following the launch of an automated tool by a US-based organisation.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The non-profit public service organisation Ad Council launched GoVoteBot programme aimed at piquing the interest of young people who are notoriously apt to be no-shows at the polls stated for 8 November.

The automated tool within Facebook's Messenger is designed to make it easy for prospective ballot casters to get registered and know election-day logistic information.

The tool will not only simplify and personalise the task but also provide some amusement along the way, digital media website Mashable technology reported.

"It has a bit of a cheeky personality. But it's completely nonpartisan — it has no opinion on who you vote for," said Ad Council's VP of campaign development Dzu Bui.

The users have to type a simple introductory greeting to the bot, and it will respond with a drop-down menu of options, including a polling location finder and absentee options in addition to registration options and links.

Voters can choose one of the options according to their needs and complete the process.

The integration is made possible by data pulled from Google Civic — the search giant's repository of electoral information — and the US Vote Foundation.

The Ad Council, which is committed to non-partisanship in all of its campaigns, has a decades-long history of encouraging civic engagement. But this project marks the first time it has ever experimented with automated bots.

"We set out to encourage millennials to vote, but wanted to find a fun and simple way to have a conversation where they are," said Chloe Gottlieb, EVP and executive creative director at ad agency R/GA, which partnered with the Ad Council on the campaign.

"For us, it made sense to create this on Facebook Messenger. We designed it to pull in thousands of data points from all 50 states and then streamed it into one interface (participants) could use quickly and easily," Gottlieb said.

Facebook first launched its big bot push in April at its annual F8 developer conference, although the initial batch left a lot to be desired. By July, the number of bots on the platform had grown to 11,000, the report said.


Updated Date: Oct 09, 2016 17:02 PM

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