Facebook Updated With 'Town Hall' Feature In The U.S.

Facebook users in the United States started seeing a new feature called "Town Hall" that's designed to help them get in contact with their political representatives and other government officials. The option started popping up in Facebook apps across the country, though it's still unclear whether this is a limited test or a country-wide rollout. For the time being, the Town Hall menu is apparently exclusive to the Facebook mobile app. If available, users can find it by opening the More section of the Facebook app that's accessible by tapping the three horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the main user interface. The Town Hall feature should appear between Jobs and Instant Games, as evidenced by the first screenshot in the gallery below.

Once you initially launch Town Hall, Facebook will prompt you to enter your address before you can use the functionality. The Menlo Park-based social media giant notes that your address isn't shared with anyone and is only used to help you connect with a relevant local government. Naturally, the company still saves your address and will likely use this data while developing its future products designed to encourage civic engagement. Once you've entered your address, you'll be greeted by a menu filled with a list of your local government representatives who can be followed on Facebook. Apart from them, you'll also see your representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as those working in your state's legislature. The list goes all the way to the top and also lists Facebook profiles and other contact info of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. As the functionality also relies on your representatives having an official Facebook account, it's possible you won't be able to use it in its entirety if you live in a small town whose administration isn't officially present on Facebook. Finally, Town Hall also supports voting reminders that you can toggle on or off based on your preferences.

The newly included Town Hall feature is likely the first step in Facebook's long-term strategy to get involved in the democratic process, which is something that Mark Zuckerberg implied might happen in his recent manifesto. Due to that state of affairs, more similar additions to Facebook will likely follow in the future.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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