With the US midterms fast approaching, Snapchat has today detailed some new steps that it’s taking to encourage its users to vote, or register to vote, in preparation for upcoming polls.
Snapchat has proven itself to be a key connector on this front, with the app’s reach to young audiences helping to raise awareness around civic participation, and improve political engagement among younger groups.
Snap’s latest efforts will seek to encourage more youngsters to register to share their voice, while it’s also launching a new ‘Voting 101 hub’ in the app, which will provide instructional videos on how to participate.
First off, on registration – in partnership with BallotReady, Snap’s launched a new in-app tool that will help guide users through the voter registration process.
As you can see here, another key element of this new tool is sharing your registration status, and inviting others to also register the app.
Snap has seen significant success in the past with its ‘I voted’ type stickers, enabling users to advocate and share their experiences in the app. That type of organic engagement activity can play a big role in influencing behavior, and Snap’s looking to lean into this where it can to enhance take-up and interest.
The new ‘Voting 101’ hub, meanwhile, will include a range of instructional videos on all aspects of the voting process.
As explained by Snap:
“We’ve developed these tools in partnership with Nonprofit Vote, Vote Early Day, Power the Polls, BallotReady, Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under the Law, and VoteRiders. As always, we will leverage Augmented Reality to enhance the real world around us. Snapchatters will be encouraged to register and get out the vote through fun Lenses and Filters – and more importantly, encourage friends to do the same.”
In the lead-up to the midterms, Snap’s team of content curators will also feature local Map stories that highlight voter engagement content as another incentive to encourage participation.
And again, all of these measures can have a big impact.
Snapchat says that its various in-app prompts helped over 30 million people access voting information in 2020, while it also inspired four million users to learn more about their opportunities to actually run for office themselves in 2021.
“Research by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement’s (CIRCLE) found that during that election cycle, Snapchat’s tools especially helped register Black youth, as well as young Americans that are unlikely to have gone to college – groups that tend to be under-invested in by campaigns and organizations, and underrepresented in the electorate.”
This is an important consideration, and Snapchat remains a key connector for younger audience groups - and as such, it’s important that Snap continues to provide education resources and guides like this to help users learn more about civic participation, and how they can have their say in the political process.