Most young adults watched the GOP debate on Snapchat, not TV

Snapchat ghost at GOP debates

Fox News | Remix by Jason Reed

Snapchat is quickly becoming the ultimate way for presidential candidates to reach young voters.

Forget television—young adults are watching live events on Snapchat.

Almost twice as many 18- to 24-year-olds tuned into the GOP debate via Snapchat Live Story than TV, the company told Politico. The Live Story featured curated pictures and videos, or snaps, from before, during and after the first GOP debate in Cleveland, Ohio.

Snapchat editorial employees pick and choose what snaps from the debate go into the Live Story that is then presented to Snapchat users. While Snapchat hasn’t released specific numbers on how many times the story was watched, it’s likely the story in brought in huge numbers. Live Stories were receiving “tens of millions of views” earlier last year reported Gigaom. 

According to Recode, Live Stories bring in 20 million views a day. The first 2016 GOP debate, hosted and exclusively broadcast on Fox News, drew a record 24 million viewers.

Snapchat did not return our request for comment in time for publication.

Snapchat is increasingly becoming a social media tool used by candidates to attract young voters, particularly the 18-to-24-year-old demographic. Many candidates have created their own Snapchat accounts to give voters a glimpse of their campaign stops or to push policy issues.

There have already been presidential memes created from Snapchat Live Stories on the campaign trail. A snap of Hillary Clinton taking a video of herself and uttering the now famous words “Just chillin’ in Cedar Rapids!” while on the campaign trail in Iowa is now a popular meme.

The GOP debate Live Story ran ads in between user-submitted clips, something that is quickly becoming a massive revenue source for Snapchat. As this election cycle heats up, expect a 2016 turf war for Snapchat ad space similar to what we’ve seen with TV and radio in years past. 

Screengrab via Fox News| Remix by Jason Reed 

William Turton

William Turton

Once named one of Forbes’ 20 Under 20 and hired as a staff writer for the Daily Dot when he was still a senior in high school, William Turton is a rising tech reporter focusing on information security, hacking culture, and politics. Since leaving the Daily Dot in April 2016, his work has appeared on Gizmodo, the Outline, and Vice News Tonight on HBO.