India Election 2014: Social media abuzz with awareness campaigns


As India prepares itself to cast the first round of votes for Lok Sabha elections, social media platforms and tech companies have also caught on the poll fever with many coming out and urging youth to cast their vote in the country’s biggest battle for the ballot.
Be it Google’s ‘pledge to vote’ campaign, Facebook’s online political debates, Vebbler’s ‘the Ungli campaign’ or telecom operator MTS’ election tracker, firms are trying to woo voters ahead of this year’s general election. More that 814 million voters, including over 23 million in the age group of 18-19 years, will exercise their franchise in the world’s largest democracy that will go to polls in nine phases, starting tomorrow and ending on May 12.

India has the third largest Internet users base globally of more than 238 million users with a majority comprising of youth. This includes well over a 100 million active on various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. No wonder, social media platforms, technology firms, e-commerce portals and telecom operators are using this opportunity to connect with users.

Tech giant Google has revamped its election hub to include features like Pledge to Vote campaign, a ‘Google score’ tool for politicians, search trends infographics, YouTube election playlists and Hangout details for users.

Apart from technology firms, telecom operators are also doing their bit to engage with citizens to urge them to cast their votes. Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which operates under MTS brand name, has launched an election tracker that showcases analysis of all conversations on social media about political parties and politicians.

This is aimed at giving Internet users a sense of the current political discourse in the country. It also provides real-time analysis by collating data from across the web as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and tracks mentions of leading political parties and politicians.

Likewise, state-owned telecom company, BSNL is offering full talk value/extra talk value to its pre-paid customers during the Lok Sabha elections. The firm is providing full usage value equal to MRP on GSM Top-Up vouchers with MRP from Rs 200-999, beginning March 25, 2014 for 90 days.

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