Barack Obama launches presidential campaign through YouTube

Where once a US presidential campaign would have kicked off with poster or a series of TV adverts, Barack Obama's camp has used the Internet and, specifically, YouTube to launch his bid for re-election.

While the US election is not due to take place until November 2012, the first shots across the bow have started, and Obama's "It begins with us" video is designed to whip up support amongst those who would like to be pro-active in his campaign. In addition, a dedicated site also offers ways to volunteer for his mighty team, hoping to serve for a further term in the White House.

Facebook is another area that the campaign is already targeting, inviting supporters to "Get in with Facebook". There's also a button to donate funds to be used in the process.

"The politics we believe in starts not with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers and friends," says Obama. And he hints at further utilising every digital means to spread the message: "We'll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that's farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we've built before."

With 19million Facebook "likes" and 7.3million tweets already, it seems to be working.

Do you think that the Internet can be a powerful tool in politics, presidential election or otherwise? Let us know in the comments below...