UK Government Building Facebook App

UK Government Building Facebook App

When the UK government announced its partnership with Facebook to crowdsource ideas for how to save public money, some wrote it off as a publicity stunt.

No details were released about how the partnership would work, and users have resorted to posting their ideas for spending cuts in long, rambling comment threads on Facebook’s Democracy UK page. As we noted this week, that isn’t really a good way to crowdsource ideas; too many arguments muddy the waters and you can’t see which ideas are really most popular.

A solution is on the way though. Facebook tells us that the UK government is currently developing an app. This will be added to the Democracy UK page and will presumably allow users to share their spending cuts ideas in a much more formal, ordered and useful way.

As it’s the weekend, we’re unable to confirm any details with staff at 10 Downing Street but it would make sense if the app mirrored the functionality of the Spending Challenge website, which allows users to submit and vote on ideas.

The government will no doubt hope that once the app hits Facebook it doesn’t suffer the same problems as the Spending Challenge site itself. It’s currently working in a stripped-down form, with a note explaining that it’s become a victim of vandals:

“As you may have noticed, the site has been the subject to a small number of malicious attacks so we have unfortunately had to pause on the interactive features for now, but we’re still keen to hear any further ideas you have, which we may publish at a later date.”

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