Obama Visits Facebook HQs, Holds Live Town Hall Event

By Erin Harrison April 20, 2011

President Barack Obama is making an in-person visit to the social networking giant Facebook’s offices on Wednesday, holding a live, “town hall” style meeting allowing invited users to interact directly with the president.

At 4 p.m. EST Wednesday, Facebook users can tune in to watch pre-coverage of the live event. President Obama is expected to take the stage at 4:45 p.m. and will be live-streamed for anyone to watch. 

The unprecedented presidential “town hall” on Facebook is being held at the company’s Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. The event is also being streamed on the White House’s official website.

The “Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity” town hall hosted by the president will be followed by two panel discussions, one focused on the Startup America initiative to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship, and one focused on the role of Women in Technology, according to an April 20 White House blog post.

Andrew Noyes, a public policy communications manager for Facebook, told the Associated Press Tuesday that President Obama’s stop there would be the first time a sitting head of state takes questions at its headquarters.

Only invited members of Facebook’s 500 million active users are allowed to ask questions. According to the official “President Obama’s facebook townhall” event page on Facebook, the company will be selecting questions for President Obama to answer during the event.

In February, the president came to Silicon Valley for dinner with the tech industry's biggest stars, raising a glass at venture capitalist John Doerr’s Woodside home with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Steve Jobs, Google's then-chief executive Eric Schmidt and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, according to the AP.

According to the company’s latest statistics, Facebook has over 500 million active – users who have returned to the site in the last 30 days.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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