Getting Social: Consumer Technology Association Adds Twitter, Facebook

The two social networks, both of which have become publicly traded companies in recent years, help broaden the Consumer Technology Association's influence beyond its previous membership base of consumer electronics.

Two of the best-known social networks now have spots at the table with one of the best-known tech-industry groups.

On Thursday, the Consumer Technology Association announced that it had brought on both Facebook and Twitter as members. The two are just the latest technology titans to join the trade group. In a news release, CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro highlighted the companies as essential communication tools and as symbols of American ingenuity.

“They have created extraordinary new platforms for commerce and innovation, fulfilling the remarkable potential of the internet,” Shapiro stated in a news release. “They have empowered individuals across the globe to create strong communities and share news, humor, hopes, and dreams. We are beyond thrilled to welcome both Facebook and Twitter as CTA members.”

The move by CTA to bring the social giants on board reflects the trade group’s evolving mission. Last November, the association changed its name from the Consumer Electronics Association in an attempt to broaden its overall mission at a time when the consumer market is shifting.

In a lot of ways, Facebook and Twitter differ from the traditional CTA member, in that neither company primarily focuses on selling electronics, though Facebook does have an interest in hardware, given its ownership of the VR firm Oculus. The Mark Zuckerberg-founded company has tested the waters in the past, teaming with HTC in 2013 on a phone loaded with a customized version of Android that focused squarely on Facebook; the phone failed to win over consumers.

Facebook, as a CTA member, will join the association’s Disruptive Innovation Council, a group that already includes a number of prominent Silicon Valley firms, including Airbnb, Boingo, DJI, Expedia, Google, GoPro, Lyft, MC10, Nest, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Uber, WebMD, and Yelp.

“We look forward to working with CTA and our peers in the tech industry to help government and thought leaders better understand how our services work and what we need to remain an engine of economic growth in America,” Facebook Director of Public Policy Greg Maurer stated in the news release.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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