YouTube and Google truly understand the value of social media to politicians. Of course they do – they’re trying to promote its use.
The increase in traffic to their websites by voters looking for information in the run-up to, during and after Polling Day is huge, so they’ve released a new set of tools to help politicians make the most of online campaigning.
Perhaps most importantly, there’s a new ‘Politician’ channel type on YouTube, which allows branding and longer videos. Availability of the channel is limited and subject to stringent checks. Currently, it also appears to be only geared-up for US politicians. All that an application yields at the minute is a polite, “we’ll get back to you”.
In the future, politicians will find YouTube’s Insights tools extremely handy – so long as they become more detailed, and paid-for video advertising could be more cost-effective than TV spots. On this side of the Pond, the Conservatives took over the front page of YouTube on Polling Day.
Google Moderator has also been enhanced for political use at local and national levels.