Using Snapchat for Good

Snapchat is a fun social media platform where users can send pictures and videos to one another, but there is so much more to do on Snapchat than send pictures to friends. Users can browse through the multiple discover channels Snapchat offers, reading news articles from their favorite networks and magazines. They can also go through and look at their friends’ Snapchat stories, a place where users can post pictures and videos for all their friends to see for 24 hours.

Going through everyone’s stories can vary in the amount of time it takes, depending on the number of friends a user has, the time of day and week, and if there is a concert or major Snapchat worthy event taking place that night. If all this wasn’t enough to keep users entertained, Snapchat also has a lens feature that adds real time special effects on top of a user’s picture or video.

With so much content available in the digital world and on Snapchat to keep you occupied it’s easy to lose track of time and feel like you have been neglecting the responsibilities of the real world.

Snapchat recently introduced a new feature that allows users to register to vote within the app. Snapchat has partnered with TurboVote in order to encourage voter registration.

Young adults count for a significant amount of possible voters in America, but a smaller percentage actually register to vote and end up voting than other age groups. With so much content online to keep a person immersed in the digital world, I for one am glad that Snapchat is using their online presence to encourage millennials to exercise their political rights in the real world and vote in the upcoming election.

Image result for hillary clinton selfiePictured above is Hillary Clinton taking a selfie with a supporter (courtesy of Google’s advanced image search)

A lot of other social media platforms encourage activism by signing an online petition or sharing an article to raise awareness. Snapchat takes this a step further and encourages its users to make a difference by taking action in the real world and going out to vote.  Snapchat along with many other companies are beginning to recognize that sometimes the best way to get young people to do something in the real world is to reach them in the digital world, where they spend vast amounts of time.

According to an article in The Atlantic, “In many salient ways, voters are not like nonvoters: voters are richer, whiter, and older than other Americans.” By encouraging voter registration Snapchat is attempting to increase voter turnout, making voters more representative of America.

Many social media apps provide users with a place where their voices can be heard. But typically their voice is only heard online and by a limited amount of friends and followers. By encouraging voter registration Snapchat is encouraging its users to have their voices heard by the entire country in a way that has a profound impact in influencing the direction the world we live in is headed. Instead of just coming up with more exciting content to keep users spending more time on the app, Snapchat is using their online presence for good, influencing its users to take action in the real world to shape the future of America.

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