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Facebook's new endorse a candidate feature is a glorified status update

Because what we all need is more chances to talk politics in Facebook comments.

Let's say you really like a political candidate. And you really want people on Facebook to know about it.

Well, good news – you can now officially endorse a politician, in what is essentially a glorified status update.

How it works

The endorsement option isn't obvious.

You have to go to a candidate's page, then click on the "Endorsements" tab on the left. From there, it gives you an option on the right-hand side to endorse. Here's the side-by-side of the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump endorsement options.

Just click the button, and you get the same pop-up box you would for sharing anything really. You can write a message, choose who to share it with and who sees it, and go from there.

And ... that's kind of it. Your timeline will show a status update that says you endorse that candidate.

Facebook has a specific walk-through on how to endorse here.

What else should I know?

The endorsement doesn't appear to show up anywhere no your profile – only when you share it on your timeline, like a status update.

On a candidate's endorsement page, there's a box that says "Friends Endorsements." When you endorse a candidate, people who go to that candidate's page and look at that box will see your profile only if you've chosen to share it with them. So if you allow only one specific friend to see it, only that friend will see you as having endorsed the candidate on that page. If you share it totally publicly, all your friends can see it (based on our testing, at least).

Facebook doesn't seem to remember your endorsement publicly otherwise. When you go back to that candidate's page, it doesn't say you endorsed them – the option to endorse is still there, and it takes you through the exact same process.

Endorse local too

The system does seem to go pretty deep – from the presidential race, down through U.S. Senate and House races, and even to the state level.

We pulled up one of the Minnesota House districts with a retiring lawmaker just to test. In 6A, the Hibbing-Chisholm area, Rep. Carly Melin isn't running for re-election. DFL candidate Julie Sandstede and Republican candidate Rob Farnsworth can both be endorsed on their Facebook pages.

And you can even encourage people to vote for Melin, via her 2014 campaign page, even though she's not actually running. So the process isn't the most thorough.

But it's only for people who have pages set up as candidates.

So Terri Bonoff's actual Facebook page isn't endorseable, but the Terri Bonoff for Congress page is. (And choosing this candidate is not an endorsement by GoMN – it's just one of the races where a candidate had a personal and campaign page to test.)

To find news, commentary, and local events leading up to the 2016 election, head to GoVote MN.

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