You would think being picked to be your party's vice presidential nominee would warrant a Facebook status update on your own page. Apparently not so for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who was tapped by Mitt Romney to be his running mate on Saturday and now has a double identity on Facebook and Twitter because of it.
The conservative leader and rising GOP star has been gaining hundreds of thousands of “likes” on his official VP Facebook profile, and thousands more on his personal page, but you wouldn’t know why by just looking at the original profile. Ryan's last post on that page was on Aug. 5—a brief memorial about the Sikh temple shooting victims—but beyond that the page has been inactive. There is no official mention of Ryan becoming the presumptive vice presidential nominee and his cover photo was still a somewhat dull image of his “Path to Prosperity” budget plan.
Meanwhile, the new VP page is quite active, with the standard posts of a contemporary campaign—inspirational quotes and photos from the trail.
In the last week, Ryan's original page has gotten more than 67,000 new likes. Before that, an average week saw 1,000 to 2,000 new fans. Meanwhile, the new VP page has gained more than half a million likes since Saturday.
So why does it matter that Paul has a double identity on Facebook? Well for one thing, it's an issue when searching for the candidate on Facebook. When simply typing in “Paul Ryan,” you get many different pages, including the original congressional page, but not the new one. To get that, you must type “Paul Ryan VP.” One would think the Romney campaign would have simply taken over the original page as to not create confusion. But, in the end, it may not matter – people are finding the new page at an astounding rate.
And even if the Facebook race on the top of the ticket—i.e., Romney vs. Obama – is still a win for the Dems, Ryan is leaving Joe Biden in the dust. Ryan's new page has gained more than 500,000 likes since this weekend, whereas Biden has only gotten 300,000 in the last few years.
On Twitter, the double identity is less of an issue, because both Ryan's original congressional profile and his new VP account pop up when you search his name.
Photo via Mitt Romney/Facebook