Mitt Romney's video talking about his presidential exploratory committee on Monday underscores that the internet has become the choice for presidential hopefuls making 2012 announcements.
Gone are the days of speaking in a more unpredictable environment like a live television interview, press conference or address to supporters. In 1991, then Governor Bill Clinton held a news conference, in 1995 Bob Dole issued a press release and in 2002 Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., went on NBC's Meet The Press.
President Obama announced his re-election run via a video on his website, followed up by an e-mail and text message to supporters. So far he is the only formal candidate to announce his intent to run, with everyone else just doing a so-called testing of the waters.
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty, a possible Republican 2012 hopeful, also used the internet to make his exploratory announcement on Facebook. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made a non-announcement by forming a website where he's exploring the exploratory committee.
Doing an announcement on social media has some perks - it allows candidates to be in a controlled environment, with full ability to massage the message to their exact liking, preserving their brand and avoiding the unexpected.
Romney's video looks more like a high-production Hollywood feature that only used to be seen at something like a nominating convention or big fundraiser. It's also is a way to get mass exposure in an increasingly internet-driven and savvy electoral base, who is getting information all day and passing along to friends instead of waiting to get information from the evening news.
However, using the internet and social media really isn't that new this cycle.
While it wasn't the norm like this season is shaping up, several candidates were posting videos last cycle.
Here's a look at how candidates previously announced their exploratory committees:
2007 -- Romney spoke to the press
2007 -- Obama posted a video on his website
2007 - Then New York Senator Hillary Clinton posted a statement on her website, e-mailed supporters, and posted a web video
2006 -- McCain spoke on "Meet the Press" on NBC
2002 - Massachusetts Senator John Kerry spoke on "Meet the Press" on NBC
1999 -- Bush first spoke at Governor's Mansion news conference and then made a formal announcement of exploratory committee on March 8 press conference
1995 - Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole issued a press release
1991 - Bill Clinton spoke at a news conference