In the wake of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections which commence in April, Facebook has launched two new India-specific tools to boost civic engagement on its platform — Candidate Connect and Share You Voted.

The first feature named ‘Candidate Connect’ is meant to help people learn more about candidates, while the ‘Share You Voted’ feature, as the name suggests, is to share polling information and enable people to announce and celebrate their vote.

The questions listed under Facebook’s ‘Candidate Connect’ feature are said to be an outcome of Facebook’s locally conducted consumer research programmes.

Facebook India’s Director of Product Management for Civic Integrity, Samidh Chakrabarti in a statement announcing the two features said, “We have more than tripled the team working on safety and security to 30,000 people, introduced unprecedented transparency requirements for political advertising, improved our ability to detect and remove fake accounts and stepped up our efforts to fight false news and misinformation.”

Facebook also stated that starting next week, voters in India, either through a bookmark in their settings, or through a message in their News Feed would be able to watch 20-second videos of candidates contesting from their respective constituencies.

“We aim to better equip our users as they look forward to participating in the political process of the country,” Chakrabarti further added.

Both the new tools are also being made available in 12 local languages across India, to improve reachability of the features.

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