Like all Facebook applications, the RNC’s Social Victory Center asks for permission to access users' information when they add the app to their account. That allows the RNC to collect some of the information that each user has provided to Facebook, but it also allows users to see which of their friends are involved in volunteer activities or attending the RNC events listed on the application page.
CNN reported earlier this month that the RNC application has been in development for a year.
The RNC is using the application to reach people interested in volunteering for the GOP but unlikely to walk into a volunteer center.
“We will be finding people and engaging them and letting them do the things that can elect a president, or members of the House or Senate, without actually having to walk into a victory center,” RNC Political Director Rick Wiley told CNN. “Just because you don’t live in a battleground state doesn’t mean you can’t help defeat this president.”
The Obama campaign paved the way for similar mobile strategies during the last presidential cycle, reaching out to supporters through social media and decentralizing volunteers with an iPhone app. This year, Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns are also experimenting with mobile applications for collecting donations, according to the The New York Times.
The Republican National Convention committee is also ramping up its social media strategy ahead of the GOP convention scheduled for August. The group invited supporters to submit and vote on names for its blog through Facebook and announced the winning submission on Tuesday: “Conventional Wisdom.” Facebook fans voted for their favorite names during four days of bracket-style online voting, according to a release from the committee.
"Creating an interesting and useful blog is just one way of communicating with people across the country," the convention’s Chief Executive Officer William Harris said in a release. "It's part of our larger plan to open the convention and make it accessible to as many people as possible using cutting-edge technology and interactive social media."
Convention Communications Director James Davis also invited suggestions for the type of behind-the-scenes content supporters would like to see on the blog leading up to the opening day.