What’s On

Google rides General Elections wave in India with special web channel

Google has launched a special bi-lingual website to track the upcoming elections in the world’s largest democracy, India. The portal offers key information that presents news and political developments around the elections. Besides, there is also a separate tab dedicated to videos and another one detailing the process of registering as a voter.
With India being viewed as a prime investment destination, the global corporate powers are keeping a keen watch on the general elections of 2014.
“Elections related search queries on Google have shown a considerable increase and the interest in news information related to elections and politics have started to peak. Leading political parties are active on most social media platforms, and users will be able to access all the information sent out by the political parties on platforms like YouTube, Google+ and connect directly with the candidates in their constituency,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Google India
As per a recent Google survey, social media can have an impact on around 30 per cent seats in the General Elections 2014. It is likely to influence 160 of India’s 543 Parliamentary constituencies. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) also released a report highlighting that increasing spending on social media campaigns can swing 3–4 per cent of votes in 24 states where internet usage is sizeable. Social media marketing can play a decisive role as a swing over 1 per centt can change the outcome of elections, it claimed.
“Our intent is to empower voters with all the information they need at a single destination for upcoming general elections. Over time we will add more functionality to enable users to interact and engage with the candidates, so that they are not simply watching from afar, but participating in, engaging with and shaping the political process in a democratic way,” added Mr Krishnaswamy. With over 200 million Internet users in the country, the internet audience in India has reached a critical scale and it will play an important role in influencing decisions of a large proportion of the urban Indian population in the upcoming election. Also, the upcoming polls are a first where social media has been deployed much extensively in India.
Earlier this month, Facebook tied up with the Association for Democratic Reforms to help the voters access criminal, financial, educational, professional information of election candidates directly on their mobile via Facebook. It also launched the ‘Register to Vote’ feature, which seeks to promote voting rights