It would appear that the Mitt Romney campaign loves apps.
With less than 100 days to go, Mitt Romney's digital team this morning announced an iPhone and Android app called "Mitt's vp" that will "enable push notifications to get the exciting [vp] news before the press and just about everyone else."
This isn't the Romney camp's first foray into the app world. Last May the campaign created a Romney-centric Instagram-esque app, which infamously bungled the spelling of the word "America" and got Mitt trending on Twitter in an unfortunate way.
While it sports a sleek design, the app, as it stands now, is little more than a way for supporters to sync Facebook and Twitter accounts and make seamless donations to the Romney campaign. It may also be used to bring more email addresses and social network accounts into the Romney campaign's databases.
Vincent Harris, a former digital strategist for the Perry and Gingrich primary campaigns, believes the vp announcement is a perfect news event for an app. “It allows the Romney campaign to connect directly with voters and will allow them to rally the troops in the future," he said. "Smartphone users are hyperactive voters, constantly consuming information via their devices. This application plays well to help satisfy the craving these people have to be the first to receive breaking news.”
In 2008, the Obama campaign announced Joe Biden's vp nomination via text message, though the announcement was scooped by media outlets. Romney's investment in this spiffy app would indicate that the campaign is trying hard to stay in control of its message and break what may very well be the last news story it can control before election day.
Not to be bested though, President Obama's campaign also released an app today. Similar to Romney's, the platform has a tab for donations, but the app's primary goal will be to provide essential facts and election information to supporters, including state-specific voting laws and requirements to get the Obama faithful out in droves on Election Day. Though the Obama and Romney apps serve different purposes, download stats may help to reveal where the candidates stand, at least in the digital space, with less than 100 days to go.