(CBS News) The 2012 Republican National Convention opens Monday in Tampa, Fla. All of the traditional media outlets will be on the ground covering the event, but this election year the political parties are also ramping up their social media presence.
The RNC is creating several opportunities for supporters to engage on social networks. An official Facebook app called "Convention Without Walls" lets users tell their stories by submitting photos and videos, which can be submitted via YouTube. A Tampa 2012 mobile app has been launched for iPhones and Android devices. The app lets users view the convention schedule (with events now delayed until Tuesday after Tropical Storm Isaac's threat), explore Tampa, and keep up with tweets from prominent Republicans.
For the first time ever, the RNC will live stream the entire convention on its YouTube channel. In April, the RNC named Google and YouTube as the "Official Social Platform and Live Stream Provider."
"Google and YouTube are transforming the political process, providing voters an unprecedented degree of participation and, for the very first time, giving every American who has access to a computer, tablet, video gaming system, interactive television, or video-enabled smart-phone an exclusive backstage pass to the podium of a national political convention," said convention CEO William Harris in a press release.
Social media has grown immensely since the 2008 elections. Aside from the obvious Facebook, Twitter and YouTube profiles, the RNC also has official Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and Foursquare accounts - services that weren't around during the last election cycle. Instagram users can view convention photos using the "Convention Without Walls" Facebook app or by searching GOPconvention on the mobile app.
Supporters can follow Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and his choice for vice president, Paul Ryan, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Additionally, Spotify users can subscribe to the Romney Ryan 2012 campaign's playlists, as well.
Social media companies are working hard to cater to politicians, supporters and the media. Twitter has set up a political index that profiles the candidates' number of followers, tweets and changes in daily activity. Facebook has an official hub for U.S. politics that highlights politicians and political campaigns.
CBS News will join The National Journal and The Atlantic for daily briefings at both conventions. Briefings start on Aug. 27 at 9:30 a.m. ET and will be streamed live at CBSNews.com.
Here's the full list of social media links for the 2012 Republican National Convention and Romney Ryan 2012 campaign.
Republican National Convention social media profiles
Official website: GOPConvention2012.com
Convention hashtag: #GOP2012
Republican National Convention mobile apps
Romney Ryan 2012 social media profiles
Romney Ryan 2012 official website: MittRomney.com
2012 politics hubs on social media sites