Facebook is working with NBC News to implement research polls leading up to U.S. elections. The effort to conduct legitimate online polling is significant as the social network seeks to establish itself as the single source of people’s real identity on the web.
This, along with the co-sponsorship of Sunday’s NBC News Facebook GOP Debate, seems to be part of an attempt to associate the company with the political process. Doing so will make Facebook appear more serious and could improve its positioning should the company decide to go public this year.
To conduct polls, the social network displays questions on the right-hand sidebar to users based on the age and location information in their profile. So far, polls have been taken by residents of Iowa, New Hampshire and nationwide, according to a Facebook spokesperson. NBC has used some of the results on its Meet The Press program. [Update 1/9/20 3:50 p.m. PT: Results from the national survey are available here.]
Facebook was also prominently featured on this past weekend’s special episode of Meet The Press, which hosted GOP presidential primary candidates for a debate. The social network secured branding in the name of the debate and backdrops behind the candidates. Ahead of the debate, Facebook users could ask questions through an app. One user had his question featured on the program. A few others had their comments about taxes displayed on the air. The debate was streamed live on Facebook and is available on-demand from the GOP Debate 2012 app.