Tampa, FL - The bulk of the companies here at the Republican National Convention are traditional media firms with dedicated spaces for their reporters to crank out stories about the big event. Then there are Twitter and Facebook. The two social media outfits are sharing a space upstairs and around the corner from a much larger area rented out by Bloomberg.
And why not? More and more, when people look for political information or post politics-related content, they do it on both platforms. The company names are synonymous with social media, and that's partially why Twitter and Facebook decided to bunk together here at the RNC.
"We're both here with the same mission. Our goals here are the same - to facilitate open engagement," said Adam Sharp, who heads up Government, News, and Social Innovation at Twitter. "Obviously our companies have ways in which we compete, but it's not a zero sum game," continued Sharp.
Meanwhile Google - one of the only other "non-media" firms here (if it can still be called that) - has taken over a massive space on the main floor of the Tampa Convention Center, complete with primary colored walls, interactive experiences, and a coffee bar dishing out free cappuccinos for the caffeine-quaffing journalists embedded nearby.
Facebook and Twitter decided it made sense to share a space when the firms' political teams were here for a walkthrough this spring. "Adam and I figured people are going to want to visit both of us," said Katie Harbath, a member of Facebook's politics and government team.
It doesn't hurt that the firms were able to keep costs down by moving in together, she added.
"Facebook and Twitter have a good synergy here," said Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications for Facebook, who is getting used to pointing to his left and saying, "I'm with Facebook; that's Twitter over there."
The two are only temporary booth mates, though. Twitter and Facebook will have separate spaces at the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte, NC.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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