Services & Software

Facebook launches Town Hall to make finding lawmakers easier

The new feature will list local officials based on your location and provide fast access to follow or contact them.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Town Hall feature with a post on his Facebook page.

Facebook launched a new tool Monday that's designed to make it easier to find and "follow" your elected representatives.

The Town Hall tool lets US users find state and federal representatives based on their location. Each official can then either be followed for updates or contacted directly by listing their phone number, address or a link to message them on Facebook (presuming your politician is on Facebook).

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said civic-minded features like Town Hall are becoming a bigger focus at his company.

"The more you engage with the political process, the more you can ensure it reflects your values," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post announcing Town Hall. "This is an important part of feeling connected to your community and your democracy, and it's something we're increasingly focused on at Facebook."

Beyond state and federal officials, Town Hall will also include local elected officials for the top 150 biggest cities in the US. A spokesman said Facebook hopes to expand this further.

In addition to Town Hall, Facebook users that Like or comment on a post from one of their elected officials from their news feed will see a new feature that invites them to directly contact their representative. Should the user follow through, Facebook will then prompt them to post about contacting that lawmaker.

Facebook rolled out a similar feature during the US presidential election last year, which was focused around helping people make a voting plan to use on Election Day. That feature presented candidates for a variety of offices in random order, and provided access to a variety of background information regarding each one.

Update, 1:16 p.m. PT: Adds comments from a Facebook spokesperson.