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While Taylor Swift jumping into politics proved to persuade her fans to register as voters for the midterm election, Snapchat’s topped the pop star’s influence. Snap, the company behind the popular social media service, revealed on Tuesday that 418,000 of its users were able to register to vote in the span of a two-week campaign.
As Snapchat scouted for potential voters, this social media platform for teenagers and young adults proved effective. Users 18 and over were encouraged to register with a button that was added to their profile and received video messages urging everyone to vote.
Through TurboVote.org, a non-partisan voter registration website, users were screened for eligibility. Those who were possible electorates were redirected to state and local election boards for the official registration.
Candidates like Beto O’Rourke also appeared on Snapchat’s political show, Good Luck America.
The outcome of Snap’s campaign was whooping—it’s more than double of Swift’s call to action. After her appeal for fans to register to vote, there were 166,000 people across America who took her advice and registered at Vote.org. (These can’t all be attributed to her even though around 40 percent of new registrants were within the pop star’s fan demographics, according to the New York Times.)
Jennifer Stout, global head of public policy at Snap, told the New York Times that the ability to vote is the most powerful form of self-expression. Stout also believes that Snapchat users have been the most engaged community. Donald Green, a political scientist from Columbia University, told the Times that it’s never easy to predict voter turnout: “It’s hard to say any Taylor Swift-style surge will make a difference.”
While Vote.org and TurboVote.org’s analytics backed up the spike on younger voter registration, Americans must wait until Nov. 6 to see if it makes a difference at the polls.
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H/T New York Times
Julie Ann Nealega is a multimedia journalist based in Manila, Philippines. She is a trained investigative reporter with extensive experience in the field as a segment producer and researcher. She’s produced multiple award-winning investigative documentaries with ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. She's a co-founder of Postcards From Disasters, a social media-driven campaign fighting for the human rights of disaster victims. She's also managing a Philippine organ donation advocacy platform.