I was writing a post about Project’s Agape’s new Facebook application that allows people to raise money for causes directly on Facebook (through the new Facebook Platform). Unfortunately, the application is still really buggy so I was unable to get the data I needed for the post. So while I was messing around in Facebook I decided to write a quick post about what the Barack Obama team is doing with their custom Facebook application.

After you install the application, an Obama video and a few recent headlines appear as part of your Facebook profile. See below.

If a visitor to your profile clicks through on the Obama link at the top there, you’ll be taken to a homepage for the application on Facebook that includes more videos and news, links to key areas of the Obama website and a feature that encourages you to email friends in early states. As you’ll see below, I’m not very popular in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire or South Carolina.

As of today, 8,742 people have installed the application, which has been available for less than a week. Not bad.

In putting this together, I think the Obama campaign has been purposefully subtle. The focus is on getting Facebook users to sort of passively spread the word about the campaign and not on encouraging them to take action RIGHT NOW. It is a soft sell. I think the Obama campaign is hoping to spread the word about the campaign and application organically through people’s normal use of Facebook profiles and mini-feeds.

This aproach is in stark contrast to the Project Agape application, which is all action (donate money and recruit volunteers). You can see a Project Agape implementation below:

When I first heard about Facebook Platform, my first instinct was to build a set of action tools into Facebook like Project Agape is doing. But having looked into it a bit further, it may be that a more subtle approach like the one taken by Obama is a better fit for the Facebook culture.

I’ll write part 2 of this post as soon as the Project Agape stuff is stable.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.