Facebook is encouraging U.S. voters to participate in the democratic process through a series of features on the social networking site.
As the U.S. heads to the polls this morning, the social media giant is ensuring that those who are eligible to vote know where they can cast their ballots and, if they wish, share the fact that they voted with their friends.
Similar to 2008 and 2010, U.S. Facebook users over age 18 will see a message at the top of their News Feed reminding them that it is Election Day and to go vote.
The Facebook message will also contain a link to the Facebook Polling Place Locator, an application that lets users find out where they can vote.
Developed with data from the non-partisan Voting Information Project, the app is a joint project of VIP, Facebook and Microsoft.
Users will also be able to click an "I'm Voting" or "I'm a Voter" button and post a story to their Facebook Timeline telling their friends that they have voted, also appearing in their friends’ News Feeds.
Over 5.4 million people indicated on Facebook that they voted on Election Day 2008 and more than 12 million people clicked the button during the 2010 midterm election.
About one third of a million more people showed up at the ballot box in the U.S. in 2010 because of the Facebook message on Election Day, according to a recent study led by the University of California.
After clicking the "I'm Voting" or "I'm a Voter" button this morning, users will be able to visit a real-time heat map on the Facebook Stories website which will display in aggregate where people on Facebook are voting throughout the country. Anyone can view that map at facebookstories.com/vote.
Throughout Election Day and night, the U.S. Politics on Facebook Page will provide information, photos, and other election-related activity taking place on Facebook.
Facebook says the page will also provide insights from the Facebook Talk Meter, which will measure Facebook election buzz on a 10-point scale.