Snap revealed yesterday to The New York Times that it has helped 418,000 users register to vote within a recent two-week period through Snapchat. Notably, many of those users live in potentially contentious states like Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas.
Snap’s efforts began at the end of September when it started displaying a link to a voter registration page on the profile of every user over 18 years old. Snap also sent out a video message to users promoting voter participation.
By linking users to TurboVote.org, Snapchat hopes to improve the historically low voter turnout of young people. For instance, in the 2014 midterm elections, less than one-fifth of the 18- to 25-year-old demographic cast their votes. About 78 percent of people between ages 18 and 24 as of January this year still use Snapchat, according to We Are Flint. Other tech companies like Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Facebook are also encouraging voters to register ahead of the November midterms by sending out reminders and partnering with TurboVote.
It’s not only companies that are trying to enlist young voters. Taylor Swift posted her support to two Democrats in Tennessee on Instagram earlier this month, and over 166,000 people registered to vote soon after. As The New York Times reported, about 40 percent of the newly registered were 18 to 25 years old, so the influx was likely due to Swift’s actions.
Beyond registering to vote, it’ll be another campaign to get people to show up on Election Day.