Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Snapchat Enters Political Media Arena

A New York Times article recently noted moves by Snapchat, America's fastest-growing smartphone app, to enter the political media arena. With its more than 100 million users, most between the ages of 18 and 31, Snapchat's ambitions could have significant impact on 2016 election coverage for candidates and causes. One sign that Snapchat is serious about growing political content: It recently hired Peter Hamby, a political reporter for CNN, to head its emerging news division. While Facebook is talking with media companies about using their political content, Snapchat is moving to create its own content, leveraging resources to hire editors and reporters. Snapchat's "Discover" feature already allows media partners, such as CNN, to post content to the app every 24 hours on their own Snapchat channel, but Snapchat also has its own channel, which could increase political coverage under Hamby. Snapchat also has its "Live" app that allows the company to drop a digital boundary around an event, a "geofence," so that Snapchat users can upload their image or video "snaps" to be stitched into a story by Snapchat. For example, 40 million watched Snapchat's feed from the Coachella music festival over three days in April. Imagine the application to a political event. As the NYT story pointed out, Snapchat has the potential to bring millions of first-time voters and millennials into the political arena."There are a lot of young people who are just killing time on their phones, who are on Snapchat and are not getting all that much political news right now," Tim Miller, a communications adviser for potential Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, told NYT. "I doubt there will be any policy symposiums taking place on Snapchat, but you've got to find a way to reach people who aren't reading long-form political articles." Definitely a heads-up for campaign strategists! Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/business/media/campaign-coverage-via-snapchat-could-shake-up-the-2016-elections.html?_r=0

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