Facebook already allows you to like a presidential candidate’s page on the platform, but now, it is allowing you go another step by endorsing them to your friends. Samidh Chakrabart, Facebook’s product manager for civic engagement, said this new feature lets anyone on the social media giant to do this, just like how newspapers, organizations, and politicians endorse candidates for elected office.
Endorse a presidential candidate
Facebook users have already been able to show their support for a candidate by sharing or liking their official page, but now an endorsement motivates them to post a message to their News Feed to further explain their support.
On Tuesday in a statement sent to Business Insider, Chakrabart said, “People who want to voice their support can visit a candidate’s Page, click on the endorsements tab, and explain their rationale for choosing that candidate.”
Users can choose to have their endorsement visible only to their friends or publicly, said a Facebook spokesperson. The social networking site will allow candidates to feature certain public endorsements on their Facebook page as well, notes BI.
Tamar Leaver, a Curtain University senior lecturer in internet studies, says users must be aware of the consequences if they choose to share the endorsement, according to abc.net.au.
“Anyone that is going to endorse knows that they’re probably going to end up with an argument with someone on the other side of the political spectrum,” Leaver said.
Elections a big thing on Facebook
Users can now go to the official pages of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and select “Endorse.” Donald Trump has 11.5 million likes on his page, while Hillary Clinton has 7.2 million. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson have the new feature on their pages as well, notes Mashable.
This particular move by the social networking site is just another example of what the tech giant has recently described as “a broader effort designed to get more people engaged in the civic process.” Several states reported a significant increase in registration after the social networking giant displayed prompts in News Feeds reminding people to register to vote.
This election is already among the most talked-about topics on Facebook. Last year, it was the most talked-about topic, the social networking giant revealed in December. In addition to this endorsement feature, the social media giant added an “issues” tabto the pages of the candidates as well. A list of topics appears on the tab when clicked. Each topics features selected videos and quotes addressing each issue.