There is little denying that Twitter helped change the political discourse in the United States and abroad, now the company has teamed with Square to allow users to make direct contributions to the campaign of their choosing.
Twitter and Square a natural partnership
Jack Dorsey, the current interim CEO at Twitter, is the co-founder of each company so the two working in conjunction with each other is a pairing that just makes sense. Twitter has been a large part of the political landscape for quite some time and will now allow candidates to solicit donations through social media posts.
The new service lets users who have a debit card to select a donation amount and make a payment once they have filled out the requisite information required by the Federal Election Commission. In 2012, the FEC ruled that candidates could begin accept donations via text message and this pairing is just taking the next logical step. It’s believed that it will be used primarily by candidates looking for smaller donations to their campaigns. Read Bernie Sanders or other candidates that have not built huge war chests through Super PACs or the Koch Brothers.
Square will take 1.9% of donations made while Twitter will not take a part of this money but rather will profit from offering candidates the opportunity to directly solicit donations through sponsored tweets.
Twitter explains its thinking
“This is the fastest, easiest way to make an online donation, and the most effective way for campaigns to execute tailored digital fundraising, in real time, on the platform where Americans are already talking about the 2016 election and the issues they are passionate about,” wrote Jenna Golden, whom heads Twitter’s political ad sales, on the company’s website today.
When people have conversations about politics, they have them on Twitter. It’s what voters learn and share in these conversations that routinely motivates political action,” Golden continued. “That’s why we’re making it easier for Twitter users to actively support candidates and causes.”
Candidates express their approval
Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Ver) tweeted today, “We have the momentum. Let’s keep it going!” while providing a link for Twitter followers to contribute.
“Social media users are responding enthusiastically to the senator’s message and we see this technology as an innovative new way to reach and engage those supporters online,” said digital director Kenneth Pennington.
Republican candidates representatives were not to be left out today.
Dr. Ben Carson’s communications director Doug Watts said, “We’ve been anticipating the program and we expect to make robust use of it.”
“Twitter is the center of the political universe during debates and their partnership with Square will make the platform even more attractive to campaigns looking to spend time and resources there,” said Vincent Harris, chief digital strategist for Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign.