Written by Pete Morano on February 13, 2013
Categories: Blog Posts

Everywhere we look, there’s some form of social media presence. Commercials, billboards, the menu at your favorite restaurant. Everyone is leveraging social media platforms to target customers and get people posting about their brand.

Social media has even found its way into daily news coverage. The media report on any major event now includes the “staggering” social media presence or the number of tweets that were generated.

The coverage during and after the 2012 summer olympics focused heavily on the number of tweets that engaged with their favorite sports and athletes while offering comments on the competition around the clock. According to Twitter, the 16-day summer games generated 150 million tweets.

The 2012 Presidential election was quickly dubbed the “mobile election” as social media platforms played a greater and greater role in the race. Mobile apps facilitated huge levels of civic engagement, while the first presidential debate alone produced 10.3 tweets during its 90-minute duration, making it one of the most tweeted events in Twitter’s six-year history.

Twitter play-by-plays of the 2013 Super Bowl were also record-setting. Of the more than 24.1 million tweets about the Super Bowl — not including tweets about any of the commercials — 5.5 million were posted during the 14 minutes of Beyonce’s halftime show.

Social media is becoming more and more integrated into our lives, documenting the events that unfold on a day-to-day basis and bringing us closer to our favorite brands and celebrities.

Now, social media is bringing us face-to-face with the president.

Google+ “Fireside Hangout”

On Thursday evening, two days after his State of the Union address, President Obama will host a Google+ Hangout to answer Americans’ questions about his second term, according to a recent article in VentureBeat.

Google’s blog announcing the upcoming Hangout points out the juxtaposition of old and new traditions.

“When President Obama heads to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night, he’ll be honoring the 200-year old tradition of delivering the State of the Union to Congress and the American people,” said the blog. “Two days later, the President will turn to Google+ to continue a more recent tradition by taking questions online after his speech.”

The President hosted a Google+ Hangout last year as well, but the Google+ platform has been much more widely adopted in the past months. Google is calling the online streaming a “Fireside Hangout,” a play on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s evening radio addresses to the nation, presumably in hopes that it will be equally as influential.

Citizens can submit or vote on questions they would like to have addressed by the president until the end of the day Wednesday on the White House YouTube channel. The President Google+ Hangout will take place Thursday at 4:50 p.m. ET on the White House Google+ page.

What do you think of the prevalence of social media, especially during major events? Where do you see the future of Google+ and the new tradition of “Fireside Hangouts”? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Flickr
By: Victoria Fields