Snapchat Wants To Be How Youngins Watch The Election

Maybe Snapchat can make ‘the youth’ care about politics. It’s certainly going to try. Snapchat is hiring a ‘Content Analyst – Politics & News’ “to cover the 2016 presidential race and other news events for Snapchat” through its Our Stories feature.

If Snapchat can create compelling election content, it could better host lucrative political ads. It already ran its first campaign ad (seen below), and hired Google’s head of political ad sales Rob Saliterman to do the same for Snapchat.

The political content analyst job description includes:

  • Use submitted Snaps – and your own – to tell stories about the 2016 presidential race
  • Snap the excitement of the campaign trail – the candidates, the characters, the drama

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 11.30.36 AM

Essentially, Snapchat will create Our Stories for big moments from the campaigns, like the debates, major rallies, and election night. These Our Stories mix user-submitted snaps that are reviewed and curated by Snapchat’s team with content that Snapchat’s news team shoots on its own. The company has seen massive view counts for this combined pro-am Our Stories from awards shows and events like the Met Gala.

31c12c1eb12723851d6ebb13887a7de0You can imagine Snapchat pulling in photos and videos of people supporting their favorite candidate (like this shot to the right), and pairing them with its own content creators’ backstage interviews or moments with the politicians themselves. With former star CNN political reporter Peter Hamby overseeing its news team, Snapchat already understands how the general public digests government.

As Snapchat detailed this week with a dry push to convince advertisers of its worth, ad clips can be inserted inside Our Stories. It touts these ads as vivid videos displayed in vertical portrait mode so users can view them full-screen. Rather than annoying YouTube pre-rolls or silent clips people scroll past on Facebook, Snapchat says its ads leave a more lasting impression.

While Snapchat doesn’t offer much ad targeting in terms of demographics, interests or gender, it does have what politicians need: age gating and a form of geographic targeting. Snapchat built the age gate to make sure alcohol ads aren’t shown to kids, but it could be used so campaign ads only reach voting-age users. Meanwhile, since Our Stories can be set to only be viewable by others in the same city, politicians could market to areas with close races.

America is grappling with historically low voter turnout. If it can make that disappear, maybe people will finally take Snapchat seriously.