A post inviting questions for Narendra Modi, which he will field in a one-hour session moderated by journalist Madhu Trehan, has drawn over 1,300 responses/questions on Facebook.

On Thursday, when Facebook made global headlines for acquiring popular messaging app WhatsApp, an election special announcement on the official India page of the social media giant went viral.

In a post, which garnered over 14,000 likes on Thursday, Facebook’s public policy director Ankhi Das announced an interactive feature, “Facebook Talks Live.” In its first edition slated to be held on March 3, the session will give the 93-million Facebook user base in India an opportunity to interact with the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.

A post inviting questions for Mr. Modi, which he will field in a one-hour session moderated by journalist Madhu Trehan, has drawn over 1,300 responses/questions and was widely shared on the social media network. The key leaders who will be featured in this season include former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad.

Google too

This is Facebook’s first such interactive feature, where it appears to be emulating Google which launched its Hangouts platform a year-and-a-half ago. Interestingly, Google also launched its interactive Hangouts with Mr. Modi in the debut session.

In the announcement post, Ms. Das quoted a study of IRIS Knowledge Foundation, released last year, which found that 150 constituencies across India could come under the impact of the Facebook vote. “Social engagement is at the core of our platform. In politics and elections, it is also key to influencing voting behaviours and organising opinion,” she wrote. This multi-channel, multi-screen initiative has been launched by Facebook in partnership with the website Newslaundry and news channel NDTV and will be telecast and streamed live on both platforms.

India holds the second largest user base in the world for Facebook.

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