Facebook debuted a Page for the U.S. Congress on Wednesday that intends to show “how Congress is using Facebook to govern and share with constituents.” This includes how members of Congress are using Facebook, a list of members’ Pages, and related news about Facebook and Congress.
The Page has a wall that’s open to fans, and a Links tab that lists the links shared on the Page by anyone. There’s also a Resources tab which includes information on how to use Facebook.
Perhaps the best features of the Page are the US House and US Senate tabs, which feature a collection of official Facebook Pages for politicians serving in these positions. Not all 435 members of the House or all 100 senators are represented, apparently because not all of them have official Pages?
In addition to actual politicians, there are a handful of Pages dedicated to a particular committee, such as the one for the Committee on Natural Resources, Republicans or the GOP Doctors Caucus, Fixing Senate Rules or Joint Economic Committee, to give a few examples.
Facebook has been trying to make inroads with Congress for some time. It has employees reaching out to members to try to get them using the social network more for things like voter outreach. It also has been building out a public policy team, stepping up its lobbying efforts, and facing new criticism from senators over its ongoing privacy issues.
Indeed, a venture capitalist active in Washington, DC tells peHUB that more senators are looking into Facebook’s privacy problems, “motivated to make a spectacle” of the company because of Congress’ own generally low approval ratings. Given the timing of the new Page, perhaps one goal is to remind Congresspeople about the value Facebook’s service offers them — not just its value as a target.