Facebook to Display Users' Political Beliefs on Times Square Billboards
The 2012 presidential election is getting closer and closer with each primary, debate and weeding-down of GOP contenders in search of a nominee to face off against President Obama.
In order to engage political junkies and non-junkies alike, Facebook has created a new app that polls users for their feelings on various issues -- and gives the option to have their results (and Facebook profile) broadcast on digital billboards in New York City's Times Square. The New York Times reported that the company -- in conjunction with the advertising group R/GA -- developed the app during a "hackathon" earlier this month where engineers were tasked with combining social media, the impending election and the Times Square platform.
The finished product is named 2012: What Matters Most. After being installed on desktop computers or mobile phones, the app asks users to rank the importance of three issues among the nine selected by Facebook. They are: national security, immigration, Social Security, energy, social issues, the economy, health care, the environment and debt.
Users will then decide to allow the company to potentially display their choices -- and profile photo -- on Reuters' digital billboards in Times Square. In addition, each state's collective No. 1 issue will be shown on the Nasdaq billboard nearby.
Meanwhile, Facebook is gearing up to go public. According to reports, it could file for an initial public offering as early as Wednesday, with a projected valuation at of $75 billion-$100 billion.