Thousands of eager Mitt Romney supporters downloaded the campaign’s highly touted phone app, which promised to break the news of his VP pick. “There’s no telling when Mitt will choose his VP,” the campaign’s website said. “But when he does, be the first to find out with Mitt’s VP app.”
But in the end, the media got there first — and app subscribers felt cheated.
The idea that the announcement would come as a surprise didn’t pan out. The Romney campaign announced late Friday night that he would announce his selectionat 9 a.m. the following morning in Norfolk, Va., giving reporters hours to find out who the VP pick was before the app made it official. And before midnight, multiple outlets, including the Associated Press, had correctly reported that Romney would be unveiling Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
The app didn’t break the news — it merely confirmed it.
BREAKING: Romney’s VP App confirms: Paul Ryan is his running mate.— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 11, 2012
App users were a little miffed, and said so on Twitter.
Political reporter Jessica Taylor called the app useless:
7:11 am - Romney app confirms it’s Paul Ryan for VP. So can I delete that useless app now?— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) August 11, 2012
Political correspondent Michael Shure mocked the app:
I’m so glad I downloaded the Romney VP app! That way, according to Mitt, I’ll be the first to know his selection tomorrow morning!— Michael Shure (@michaelshure) August 11, 2012
Blogger Josh Nanberg pointed out that the app’s real purpose was to gather personal information on supporters:
Seriously—the— Josh Nanberg (@jnanberg) August 11, 2012
#Romney VP app was just a disingenuous list-building tool. Supporters handed over canvass info, got news after twitter, media
And as one subscriber put it, the app was more of an unwelcome alarm clock than a newsbreaker: