Last month, Snapchat rolled out a new set of tools to encourage Snapchatters to vote in the upcoming US Presidential election, including registration prompts and guides to assist first-time voters in having their say.
And those initiatives are already having an impact - according to a new report from Axios, more than 407,000 people have registered to vote on Snapchat already, with the app planning to launch even more voter awareness tools and notifications over the coming weeks.
The data is particularly significant given Snapchat's past efforts to encourage voter participation. Back in 2018, as part of a similar push to encourage voting in the US midterms, around 450,000 Snapchatters registered to vote, and around 57% of them went on to actually cast their ballot in the election.
That equates to around 260,000 extra votes cast as a direct result of a push via the app.
Of course, 260k is only a fraction of the overall voting population in the US - in the 2016 US Presidential Election, for example, some 138 million people cast their vote, which eventually saw Donald Trump claim victory over Hilary Clinton. But the margins of victory in key seats were very slim - in most of the seats where Trump defeated Clinton, there were fewer than 200k votes separating the two.
That would suggest that encouraging 260k more people to participate could have a significant impact - and with weeks to go before the actual ballot, the early figures from Snapchat's latest voter initiative are encouraging.
Could Snapchat be the app that ends up deciding the result?
Definitely, younger voters are expected to have a much bigger impact in 2020, and Snapchat clearly has strong connection with younger audiences.
And as noted, Snapchat still has more voter encouragement plans in the works. According to Axios, former President Barack Obama will soon be featured in a new Snapchat PSA to encourage first-time and young voters to register to vote via the app. Obama will also be joined by celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Snoop Dogg, Catherine McBroom, and Quincy Brown, as part of various in-app pushes to further boost participation.
In the broader scheme of things, Snapchat's audience reach is very small - Snapchat currently sees 238 million daily active users, as opposed to Facebook's 1.79 billion DAU. But it could still have a big impact - if Snapchat can encourage more younger people to the polls, a cohort with historically low participation rates, that could definitely sway the final result.
Snapchat's looking to play a big part in boosting that figure, and going on these early numbers, it'll likely play some role in maximizing participation.