But it wasn’t all about political campaigning and self-promotion. Facebook was also a strong platform for speaking out on social issues such as preventing anti-gay bullying and working to decrease unemployment.
“Whether fighting for political victory or connecting one-on-one with voters, politicians made 2011 the most social year ever,” wrote Facebook’s politics team on the company blog.
“As we head into 2012, Facebook users can look forward to a Facebook/NBC presidential debate and the vigor of a general election campaign sure to play out across pages, live streams and sponsored stories.”
Here are some of the most notable moments in politics on Facebook in 2011.
Facebook users (and non-user visitors) were able to see President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address live streamed on C-SPAN’s Facebook page. On Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s Facebook page, visitors could tune in to watch the Republican response.
Obama’s senior officials made the annual State of the Union address more democratic when they took questions from Facebook users address. Citizens asked questions about topics ranging from foreign policy to the sluggish economy.
Pages for both political parties invited Facebook users to leave comments about the content of both speeches. Also, the White House made a special behind-the-scenes SOTU video for its Facebook page, giving viewers more details about how the speech was written.
In March, early Republican would-bes made preliminary appearances on the social network. Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on a Facebook Live episode from SXSW, and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced his presidential exploratory committee on his Facebook page. Michele Bachmann also live-streamed a Facebook town hall.
In May, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Ron Paul each announced their presidential campaigns via their Facebook pages. Mike Huckabee took to Facebook to explain to voters why he would not be running for President. Mitt Romney hosted a Facebook town hall during this month, and Bachmann experienced a huge outpouring of support by voters on her Facebook page — which nearly prompted her to move up her campaign announcement.
In June, Romney formally entered the 2012 race with a livestreamed announcement on Facebook
During an October press conference live-streamed on his Facebook page, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie disappointed more than a few voters with an announcement that he would not be going after the Republican nomination.
Particularly since last year’s rash of news-making suicides related to the bullying of homosexual teens and young adults, Facebook has put a strong focus on removing bigotry and hatred from its pages.