With the US mid-term elections less than two weeks away, the popular messaging app has emerged as an unlikely but effective driver of voter registration for young Americans.
In Q2 2018, Snapchat had around 188 million daily users worldwide.
A survey by the Pew Research Center earlier this year found Snapchat was especially dominant in the 18-24 demographic, with 78% of respondents in that age group using the multimedia messaging app. A majority of these users (71%) use the app multiple times each day.
Another study, released today, found that Snapchat had overtaken Instagram in popularity among US teenagers for the first time.
Now Snapchat has leveraged its incredible reach to encourage voting and has been credited with facilitating a staggering 400,000 registrations.
Snapchat says it helped more than 400K US users register to vote during a recent two-week period, following an in-app push to encourage registration (@ceciliakang / New York Times)https://t.co/kri8bAnCJIhttps://t.co/5MISRtBpDb
— Techmeme (@Techmeme) October 23, 2018
Snapchat directed users to Turbovote.org
The company added a button to the profile of US users aged over 18 which linked to voting registration app TurboVote. It also sent video messages to all users eligible to vote encouraging them to register.
Turbovote.org is a nonpartisan voter registration site which aspires to be the ‘Netflix of voter registration’ asks each user a series of simple questions on their eligibility to vote and then directs them to the relevant local or state election board.
“There is no more powerful form of self-expression than the ability to vote,” said Jennifer Stout, Head of Global Public Policy at Snapchat.
“The numbers we’ve seen have been fantastic and have shown us that our users have been some of the most engaged communities out there.”
Other social media behemoths Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have also partnered with TurboVote to encourage and enable voter registration.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 17, 2018
Entertainers urging Americans to register ahead of the mid-term elections in November
Pop star Taylor Swift, who has 112 million Instagram followers, recently urged people to register to vote and was linked to a marked uptick in registrations ahead of the cutoff.
The most recent forecast from data journalism site FiveThirtyEight gives the Democrats an 85.1% chance of winning control of the house though other polls, such as The Washington Post-Schar School Battleground Districts poll, have suggested a tight race in bellwether states.