Mitt Romney’s campaign announced Tuesday that supporters can sign up to be the first to learn of the presumptive Republican nominee’s vice presidential choice by downloading a new smartphone app.
“The first official way to learn the name of the Republican vice presidential candidate is by using our new ‘Mitt’s VP’ app,” said Romney digital director Zac Moffatt in a statement. “Users of the app will be the first to get the news on the biggest political decision of the year through an instantaneous alert on the one device most people carry around the clock — their phone.”
The app will push a notification to supporters’ phones instantly after the name is released from Romney headquarters, and allow users to share and comment on it across a variety of social networks. The application will be free on both the iPhone and Android operating systems, and can be downloaded here.
The approach is the evolution of a 2008 move by the Obama campaign that sent a text message to supporters announcing the selection of now-Vice President Joe Biden. That approach was widely heralded as a way for the Obama campaign team to collect phone numbers for supporters that could later be used for get-out-the-vote and fundraising efforts. The president’s campaign continues to send text messages to users’ phones today.
But depending on how the Romney app works, it could provide even more demographic information to the campaign. Upon installation, the application asks permission to access data about where a user is located, and urges supporters to log in using social networks like Twitter. That could allow the campaign large-scale data harvesting, an invaluable tool for campaign staff looking to tailor advertising and fundraising efforts.
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