The posts’ underlying claim — that the social media platform had rolled out a new feature to help users launch campaigns — was true. Sofia Gross, head of policy partnerships and social impact at Snap (the company that oversees the app), tweeted:
We also obtained an Oct. 5 news release from Snap that said users could access the portal by opening the app, swiping down on the camera screen, and selecting the “Run for Office” in-app game. There, users will find, according to the release:
- A centralized portal on local elected offices that can be filtered by issue. We created a one stop resource that curates over 75,000 upcoming elections on the federal, state and local level that Snapchatters may be eligible for. Snapchatters identify a set of issues they are passionate about and then we surface roles they may be interested in.
- Access to experienced candidate recruitment organizations and training programs across the political spectrum. These groups will be connected directly with Snapchatters to help them with the first steps needed to start a campaign. […]
- The ability to nominate friends to run for office. Snapchatters say friends were more than five times more influential in their decision to vote in the 2020 election vs. influencers and celebrities. The Run for Office Mini allows Snapchatters to nominate their friends who they see as future leaders.
- A personalized campaign hub. The ‘My Campaign Dashboard’ will show Snapchatters the first steps they need to take to get on the ballot, including filing deadlines and signature requirements, as well as contact information for local election offices. In addition, Snapchatters will be able to share stickers from this portal to start campaigning on Snapchat with their closest friends.
Specifically, the feature aims to connect those above-listed resources with teenagers and young adults. According to the release, Snapchat reaches 90% of U.S. residents between the ages of 13 and 24 and, therefore, can play a role in telling that population about upcoming races.
“We know this next generation is the most diverse,” the release stated. “We hope our Run for Office initiative will help shape a more equitable, and reflective, democracy that includes all Americans, including young people.”
Gross’ above-displayed tweet included a link to an article by NPR in which Gross said the idea grew from the company’s observations during 2020 elections.
“We started meeting with candidate-recruitment organizations to really try to understand if there was a role for Snapchat to play in this space,” Gross said. “And the answer […] was yes, developing candidates is a long-term initiative.”
Summers, Juana. “Snapchat Is Adding a Feature to Help Young Users Run for Political Office.” NPR, 5 Oct. 2021. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2021/10/05/1043017903/snapchat-is-adding-a-feature-to-help-young-users-run-for-political-office.
Inspiring the Next Generation of Local Leaders through Snapchat – Snap Newsroom. https://newsroom.snap.com/run-for-office/. Accessed 5 Oct. 2021.
“Snapchat Introduces Tool to Help Young People Run for Office.” NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/snapchat-introduces-tool-help-young-people-run-office-n1280708. Accessed 5 Oct. 2021.