Oct 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Snapchat young candidate project gets buzz

Illustration of the Snapchat ghost behind a podium.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Since its launch on Wednesday, nearly 2 million Snapchat users have engaged with a new module on the app that aims to help young people run for office, Snap officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: The tech company — which claims reach over 90% of the nation's 18-to-34-year-olds — is venturing deeper into the civic engagement space to expand "Snapchat generation" representation in local elected office.

  • So far, the most interest has come from six states that are among the most populous: Texas, Florida, Ohio, California, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
  • The top five issues Snapchatters say they care about: Civil rights, education, the environment, health care and jobs.

How it works: Snap is partnering with 10 candidate recruitment organizations, including ones that focus on helping young progressives, conservatives and immigrants to seek elected office.

  • In the first partial week, more than 24,000 Snapchat users expressed interest in working with one of those organizations to explore running for local positions, such as a school board or city council.
  • Another 46,000 users nominated a friend to run.
  • Besides exploring the notion of running, users can input their top issues or their ZIP code to learn about relevant races in their area.

Be smart: While those expressing clear interest in running have been but a fraction of the engagements in the opening days of the endeavor, recruiters say a response in the tens of thousands actually is huge in terms of the potential that could be tapped.

What they're saying: "It's a kind of candidate recruitment at scale that we have always dreamed of being able to do," Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run For Something, a group serving young progressives, told Axios.

  • More than 4,000 have signed up with Run For Something.
  • "We’ve been overjoyed with the responses that we’ve received and for the opportunity to participate," Mason Morgan, executive director of Run GenZ, a group serving young conservatives, told Axios via email. His group has already received over 1,500 sign-ups from across the country.
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