Yesterday afternoon was a big deal, since for the first time since 2012 President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and mayor Mauricio Macri were seen at an event together. The “event” was, of course, the official opening of the new Facebook office in Buenos Aires.
The first Argentine Facebook office, ran by Alejandro Zuzenberg and located in Puerto Madero, was opened in 2012, representing the third office to be opened in the region, behind Mexico and Brazil. Commanding commercial activity for Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, Argentina’s Facebook offices play an important role in the region, although they do not contribute to the development of new products or software.
Cristina and Macri were obvious choices for the official opening – they both have a large number of Facebook followers and are very active there. Sometimes the President even picks a message or two and addresses them directly.
If you were waiting for them to make a joint statement, you should know it didn’t happen. But that didn’t stop them from taking a couple of selfies (even though in my opinion the selfie phenomenon totally peaked at the Oscars with Ellen portrait of Hollywood magic):
Inaugurando las oficinas argentinas de Facebook. Muy cálido el equipo! pic.twitter.com/CecLHsI4LB
— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) May 6, 2014
Muy contentos hoy en Facebook, en la inauguración de sus oficinas en Argentina pic.twitter.com/3XMUaMq6Xb
— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) May 7, 2014
By the way, that last one is a photo of her taking a selfie, not the selfie itself. That was tweeted by someone else, and here it is in all its photographic glory:
La selfie que Cristina subió a su FB que se saco en las oficinas de Facebook Argentina pic.twitter.com/iydb7zOAEA
— Tri Heredia (@triheredia) May 7, 2014
After having fun with those totally lucky Facebook employees, both Cristina and Macri left a message on their wall (“wall,” geddit?).
— ArgentinosUnidos (@Argentinos2014) May 6, 2014
“For Agustín and all Facebook users who love oral life.- #CFKArgentina”
And look! She signed with her profile name, too! She’s CFKArgentina on Facebook and @CFKArgentina on Twitter. I’m feeling ambivalent about the hashtag, since it’s mostly associated with Twitter, although Facebook recently adopted its use as well.
Macri also left his mark on the wall yesterday:
“Change is coming and FB is a part of it!”
Cheeky eh, Mr. Mayor? “Change is coming“? You daredevil, you. Talking about the presidential elections in front of the President.
Cristina also talked to the reporters present – also a rare treat, so enjoy:
My favorite part was when she was getting ready to talk to the press and someone handed her a microphone from the Todo Noticias news network – her mortal enemy – and she gave it back immediately as if she had just been offered a dead rat. “No! No! Not that one! I’m the President so I have to go with La Tevé Pública.”
Not the end of the world, but it surely will be for many. Whatever.
President Kirchner may keep a warm spot in her heart for Facebook – despite a difficult relationship with the press, she was found to have the highest number of positive mentions on Facebook among Latin American presidents in a study conducted by the consultancy LLorente and Cuenca.
After the event, Cristina took to Facebook (and Twitter) to talk about her experience and about her love for social media. She not only confirmed that it’s obviously her who posts on both of her accounts – as opposed to a social media manager who pretends to be her – but she also said she loves social media because it there is direct dialogue between both parts without the need of an intermediary (the media, that evil snake pit full of treacherous creatures.)
So while President Obama may have decided that Facebook isn’t cool anymore, it is still relevant down here in el cono sur.
(Photo via Infobae/Nicolás Stulberg)