Latest in Advertising

Image credit:

Twitter brags that your location data could swing Britain's next election

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
January 27, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

The UK is 100 days away from one of the most contentious general elections in a generation, but locals shouldn't expect to be visited by a door-to-door campaigner. Instead, Britons that also have a Twitter account are going to find that their social feed has been taken over by political campaigners. In a pitch both to advertisers and politicians, Twitter's Gordon MacMillan boasts that the service's location information is now so precise, it can target voters in individual postcodes. Anyone, therefore, who lives in an area that's likely to decide the fate of the election will find no respite by staring into their smartphone.

In a blog post on Twitter's advertising site, MacMillan talks about how parties can push specific local issues and invite users to ask questions of prospective MPs. The tools on offer can also be used to "raise the profile" of candidates who may not be as well-known as the incumbent. Finally, parties could craft specific campaigns for local communities and try to win hearts and minds that way. Of course, if you'd prefer not to be grouped together like this, you can always prevent Twitter's mobile apps from accessing your location data by visiting your smartphone's settings menu.

Some may scoff at the idea that the site itself could turn an election, but since -- according to Twitter -- around 23 percent of the population use the service, it's not that fantastical. The UK itself has also been looking for ways to encourage engagement, and the Digital Democracy Commission recently concluded that online voting should be offered to Britons by 2020. Hell, maybe Twitter can offer its services in this area, you know: Retweet for Conservative, Favorite for Labour...

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

NVIDIA apologizes for RTX 3080 order chaos

NVIDIA apologizes for RTX 3080 order chaos

View
You’ll need more than $299 to truly enjoy next-gen gaming

You’ll need more than $299 to truly enjoy next-gen gaming

View
Apple iPad (2020) hands-on: A better kind of basic

Apple iPad (2020) hands-on: A better kind of basic

View
Facebook's Infinite Office is a virtual office space for the WFH crowd

Facebook's Infinite Office is a virtual office space for the WFH crowd

View
Confused about which console to buy? Just wait.

Confused about which console to buy? Just wait.

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr