The presidential election season in the U.S. is now in full swing and both the Democratic and Republican conventions are just a few months away. Google just announced that it will be the “official social platform and livestream provider” for the Republican convention in Tampa in August. Google promises “a convention without walls” and will use both YouTube and its Google+ social network, to provide coverage from the event.
Google says that it will livestream key events and use Google+ Hangouts to connect its users “with Republican leaders off the podium.” What’s not clear from this announcement, though, is how exactly Google plans to use its social network for this event besides using its Google+ Hangout video chat tool.
In 2008, Google also offered live streams from the Republican convention, but back then, the company partnered with Ustream.tv to offer this service. This year, the company has set up a number of tools for politicians and their campaigns to use, as well as special sites for political junkies to keep track of the nomination and election process.
Google, it seems, has also been actively courting politicians to use its Hangouts feature to engage with voters. Earlier this year, for example, President Barack Obama hosted a Google+ hangout after his State of the Union Address. Presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney also used Google’s video chat tool during his campaign for the Republican nomination in March.