The Washington Post and Slate are beefing up their online reach by creating applications on Facebook that let both companies integrate with the social network's Web site. More importantly, this lets them gain immediate access to 24 million potential users.
Washingtonpost.com's "The Compass" and slate.com's "Political Futures" applications are targeting Facebook users who want to be more involved in politics.
Facebook users communicate and share information through the social graph, a network of connections between people. Since it ranks as the sixth-most-trafficked Web site in the U.S, both media entities hope to capitalize on its youthful demos.
For example, "The Compass" has users answer political questions to determine where they fall within the political spectrum. Those results are shared with the person's Facebook network, which is encouraged to answer. The give-and-take responses effectively create a map of political ideology.
Slate's "Political Futures" application is a bit more daring. It lets users choose where to place a bet--if they had $500 to wager on the 2008 White House race. "PF" shows how the pretend wager stacks up against actual bets. Then it maps out how other people in a user's network placed their bets.
Caroline Little, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive's CEO and publisher, said of the Facebook alliance: "It's a new way to share the political news we're known for with such an active audience."
One of four online properties published by Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, washingtonpost.com won the first Emmy for original video journalism online. Slate won the 2006 EPpy awards for Best Internet News Service.
* This article was modified after its original posting.