The importance of social media in politics was made clear by Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential run. But there is a new frontier of Web 2.0 technologies that politicians and political groups are slowly starting to embrace: the smartphone app. These apps have the potential to reshape how politicians communicate, raise money and get out the vote.
The biggest player on the smartphone app stage is Apple’s iPhone. But the BlackBerry, Android, Palm Pre and other smartphones are likely to play a growing role as well.
The age of political apps began in October 2008 when the Obama campaign released its free Obama08 app. It organized a person’s iPhone contacts to enable supporters to call any friends located in important electoral districts. The Obama app also had a donation interface, news feeds, local campaign events, and a list of Obama’s positions on major issues.