David Birdsell is dean of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs. He says the birth of social media in politics dates back to 2004 and Howard Dean's campaign and Myspace. Remember them? While Myspace and Dean didn't work out, all the candidates are now digitally tuned in. Facebook pages for supporters and active Twitter accounts.
Donald Trump released an ad Friday night. Several others approve of using phone apps. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz all have an official application.
The Cruz crew app has been downloaded more 60,000 times, getting the most buzz because it requires users to log in with Facebook or provide other private info, unlike the others.
For the campaigns, the data mining and analytics, including friend lists, photos, locations can be crucial to helping to push specific and targeted messages.
With an election season already unlike any other, any edge matters.