Clinton's Silly 'Trump Yourself' Facebook App Has Serious Data-Collecting Goal
For years people have turned themselves into sprightly imps around the holiday season with OfficeMax's beloved "Elf Yourself" app. On Thursday the Hillary Clinton campaign released its own version of the game, a Facebook app called "Trump Yourself" that slaps Trump's insults on their profile photos.
An example on the Trump Yourself website, for example, shows a smiling Clinton backer's photo covered with the words "Fat Pig! -- Donald." (Mr. Trump called Rosie O'Donnell a "fat pig" in 2009.) A profile photo of a gay voter might be altered to say, "Donald Trump doesn't think I should be able to get married."
"Hater and loser" is another option.
"What has Donald Trump said about people like you?" asks the TrumpYourself.org site, actually part of HillaryClinton.com.
But beyond reminding voters that Mr. Tump has a history of saying controversial, sometimes downright nasty things, the Facebook app also gives the Clinton campaign new access to data.
To use the "Trump Yourself" app, people have to sign in to their Facebook accounts and grant permission for the campaign to receive their email addresses and public profile, including names, phone numbers, birthdates, gender and age range.
The Facebook app complements a new Clinton campaign TV spot that paints Mr. Trump as a bad role model by blending audio of things he's said with footage of children listening.
While the TV spot is aimed at persuading people to support Mrs. Clinton, Trump Yourself is "certainly geared more towards the base," said Larry Huynh, co-founder of Trilogy Interactive, a digital political firm serving left-leaning candidates and organizations that currently is not working with the Clinton campaign.
While it is unclear exactly which data points the Clinton camp is gleaning through the app, it could integrate the information with its pre-existing voter database, either enhancing what it knows about people already on file for better segmenting and targeting or adding entirely new names.
"For them, they're going to have the scale where it's going to be very useful," Mr. Huynh said.
However, he stressed that the email addresses the campaign will grab are key. "It's clear to me that it's an email acquisition mechanism to put into their messaging program for email communications," he said.
When people sign in to the app it automatically sends a message to the email address associated with the Facebook account, saying, "Stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved with the campaign." The email also links to a pre-populated form that allows people to add to or alter their contact information and suggests that they invite their friends and family to join the campaign.