Facebook is used extensively by the U.S. presidential election candidates, but Donald Trump wants to take it one notch higher. On Monday night, Trump’s campaign went live on the platform. It will run for two successive weeks and will telecast live shows to encourage supporters.
“Nightly” newscast on Facebook
Trump’s Facebook page referred to the campaign as “nightly campaign coverage from Trump Tower!” On several occasions, Trump conflated the election ad with an actual newscast. This new campaign left observers confused about whether it was a prototype of a theoretical post-election “Trump TV” network, but the Trump campaign denied that, notes CNN.
At the start of the webcast, Trump’s senior adviser, Cliff Sims, said, “Welcome in to Trump Tower live.”
His colleague, Boris Epshteyn, said, “We’re excited to be bypassing the left-wing media.”
In its first half hour, the stream was able to gain 40,000-60,000 viewers. It is impressive if judged by Facebook Live standards but low if judged by TV ratings standards, notes CNN.
In the live stream, Epshteyn and Sims were seen interviewing Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who told viewers, “This race is not over… Let me just say unequivocally: We will win.”
After a break, Tomi Lahren of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network was seen speaking about how important it was to make America great again. The webcast also helped raise funds for the Trump campaign with a prominent link and on-screen banner to a donation page.
Extension of last week’s campaign
The hosts used television lingo during the live stream. Sims referred to “later episodes” that would have Trump’s family members on the show. Epshteyn also asked Facebook viewers to share the live stream with their friends.
Monday’s stream can be seen as an extension of what the campaign did last week when it showed a pre- and post-debate show on Trump’s Facebook page. The campaign tried to seek help from Right Side Broadcasting, a conservative live-streaming site, to pull it off.
The stream generated a lot of discussions, and some stories consider the question, “Did Trump TV launch last night?” “Trump TV” is a post-election network aimed at Trump fans, and for several months, media experts and politicos have been abuzz about its prospects.
Epshteyn told Wired, “We all know how strong the left wing media bias is. This is us delivering our message to voters. It has nothing to do with Trump TV. It’s about using 21st century technology and communication in a way that’s effective.”