Facebook Talks to Host NaMo, Kejriwal; Takes a Leaf Out of Google’s Playbook

If you have a question for Narendra Modi or Arvind Kejriwal, post it on Facebook and have it answered live on television. No, it’s no gimmick, at least that’s what Facebook claims.

In a first, Facebook has partnered with NewsLaundry and NDTV 24×7 to bring Facebook Talks Live with a focus on the upcoming general elections. Facebook Talks is where the social networking company puts up the talks it hosts.

“In this election season, we are bringing facebook Talks Live with key 2014 national and regional leaders. This is a multi-platform, multi-screen effort in partnership with Newslaundry and NDTV .”

Facebook users can ask Arvind Kejriwal, Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav questions on their priorities and agenda for the country.

FB talks 2

Facebook will open its Facebook group open for questions today.

What isn’t clear is how Facebook is going to pick the questions to be asked. Considering that the NDTV is largely seen as a pro-Congress/Left leaning television channel, this should be interesting to see.

Google’s bid for this space was with the hugely successful Google Hangout with BJPs prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in 2013. The 2 hour Hangout was watched live by 82,000 people across 116 countries.

FB Talks

This is an important step for more reasons than one –

a. this is a first of its kind integration for Facebook in India,

b. definitely a test on how viable multi-platform is going to be for Facebook, and ,

c. thanks to a clever and obvious bit of marketing, it has directly pitted itself against Google Hangouts. The first candidate to be interviewed will be Narendra Modi.

Catch the livestream of this feed here.

From the looks of it, NaMo fans have already swarmed the page for now.

In the run upto the elections, Facebook had previously introduced ‘Registered to Vote’ as a life event. It had also introduced the ‘Interest Lists’ feature where users can follow updates from Indian political parties and leaders.

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