West Suffolk MP, Matt Hancock has broken new ground in UK politics by launching his own smartphone app.
Launched in partnership with UK-based community platform Disciple, the space creates a new opportunity for direct digital democracy - a means for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to engage constituents, and for them to engage with each other, in a safe, moderated digital environment via a simple-to-use smartphone app.
Mr Hancock becomes the first politician to use the platform, with a view to making it available for all MPs.
Disciple’s platform, initially designed to help musicians interact directly with their fan bases essentially creates a ‘third digital space’ used by individuals and organisations to build communities around specific, shared interests.
Constituents simply need to search Matt Hancock MP in Apple’s App store or the Google Play store to download a free iOS/Android smartphone app, http://onelink.to/rafnkr.
For Mr Hancock, as community host, the platform offers features and benefits not available through social media platforms, such as: complete editorial control, guaranteed reach, data and content ownership, user privacy and community moderation.
Advanced analytics, made possible through full visibility of platform data will enable Mr Hancock to quickly assess which members are asking what, when and how often, and respond to the main issues of interest to his community.
Mr Hancock said: “Harnessing the amazing advancements in tech to improve the lives of everyone is vital.
“Next-generation community platforms like Disciple are a brilliant example of how we can use tech to foster healthy online engagement.
“So, I’m delighted to have the chance to use this to build a safe, open and accessible online community for my West Suffolk constituents and I to engage with the issues that matter to them.”
Disciple founder and CEO Benji Vaughan said: “At Disciple, our mission is to build a platform where the community is the customer.
“We want to build online spaces which truly have the interest of its user and are community-driven at their heart.
“Whether you’re a musician or social media star looking to control how you monetise your content, a public figure who wants to engage the public in their own moderated space, a publisher or business who wants to guarantee reach to its audiences or customers, or a citizen wanting to network in shared interest groups - community platforms offer a fantastic alternative.”