Sep 21, 2020 - Technology

Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration of voter checkbook crushed by stars and stripes

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.

Details: Facebook says it determined that over 2.5 million people have registered to vote across its apps, based on conversion rates it calculated from a few states that it has already partnered with.

  • The number so far beats its record of over 2 million people registered for elections in 2016 and again in 2018.
  • The company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that Facebook's 2020 goal is "to help 4 million people register to vote."
  • Facebook also said Monday that it has launched a consumer marketing campaign to inform more users about how to register and participate in the elections.
  • COO Sheryl Sandberg and members of the company's executive team will use Live on Facebook events this week to promote the registration effort.

The big picture: Tech companies were caught flat-footed by the way their platforms were used by foreign actors in the 2016 election. After four years of backlash, they want to show their commitment to civic engagement and election integrity.

What's next: National Voter Registration Day is on Tuesday.

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