Newt Gingrich Upgrades To Facebook Timeline

Newt Gingrich upgraded his Facebook profile to timeline, the first of the Republican candidates to make this move.

Newt Gingrich upgraded his Facebook profile to timeline, the first of the Republican candidates to make this move.

Actually, the latest fronrunner in the Republican race is Rick Santorum, who Pew’s Center for People and the Press shows is leading with 30 percent of voters in the U.S., followed by Mitt Romney at 28 percent and Newt Gingrich sliding to 17 percent.

However, President Barack Obama is ahead of each of the GOP contenders.

Santorum has yet to update his page with any news of the race’s official shift, but he does share a poignant story about a father’s ill child and provides details of his travel schedule this week.

Although Gingrich is in third place, he continues to use social media to its fullest advantage, given his lack of resources, namely money, to compete on other fronts.

Today, Gingrich’s profile has been updated to the new timeline, which includes the addition of the subscribe button.

Always the historian, Gingrich is using every aspect of timeline, which now goes all the way back to his birth.

The branding is unmistakeable. Gingrich uses the tagline “Bold, Reagan Conservative” prominently in his cover image.

Plus he’s got photos of recent endorsements from the likes of Chuck Norris and Herman Cain.

The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is the first presidential candidate to employ Facebook’s upgrade to a personal profile, and you can already see just how powerful a branding tool timeline can be at every level of electoral politics.

We speculated with a couple of politicos last week how elected officials and campaigns will use the timeline when pages get upgraded to the new feature.

They agreed that the timeline will give a more fully-rounded picture of a pols record, enabling a candidate to emphasize his core issues over the years, while presenting an opportunity to scrub less favorable moments from the past.

Gingrich’s personal timeline presents that nuanced view. Highlights include:

  • His marriage to Callista in 2000, which came on the heels of a publicized affair and divorce from his second wife (that part isn’t mentioned);
  • Conversion to the Catholic Church in 2009;
  • His testimony against cap and trade, a major policy point for the campaign given his appearance in an ad with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the same subject; and
  • Passing a balanced budget in 1998, but no mention of why he was forced to retire from the House in 1999 (it was during an ethics investigation.)

And as Super Tuesday looms, the subscribe button on his profile will allow a larger audience to access the latest posts. So the moves on Facebook are a way to reach as many voters as possible before the next round of major contests on March 6, 2012.

What do you think of Newt Gingrich’s approach to updating his timeline?