Quick Pics Get Into Politics
If you don’t have this app, you’ve at least heard of it. It is America’s fastest growing smartphone app and its premises is either devotedly loved or passionately hated by the smartphone population. There is no in between.
Snapchat was launched in 2011, and has grown considerably from its 127 users in the first month. As of August 2014 there were 100 million monthly active users involved with the app, and the numbers just seem to keep growing. At this point, Snapchat has greatly evolved; from small additions like photo filters and texting to adding a ‘discover’ app, where companies like People and National Geographic can send small snippets of news on a daily basis.
With all of the attention that this app is getting from the world’s younger audiences, news has come that Snapchat may possibly be using its power to share political news as well.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Snapchat had hired Peter Hamby, a political reporter for CNN to take the reins on its news division. Hamby has previously worked for CNN Digital, a branch of the company that focuses mainly on web news until recently when Snapchat offered him the position.
What It All Means
What this means is that Snapchat is hoping to add another hat to its many jobs; that hat being a political correspondent. With Hamby heading the news portion of Snapchat, political news and campaign updates may be sent in videos just short enough to keep the attention span of Snapchat’s users. While past campaign coverage has been done by reading the newspaper, watching the news reports or following blogs, Snapchat users can now stay updated on the go, and they can do it in a medium that they presently enjoy.
With the new discover section in Snapchat, the political campaign will possibly have its own feature embedded here, with the captivating colors, fonts, quick videos and to-the-point news that can give users everything they need to know quickly with none of the fluff.
Another feature that could possibly bring more interest into the political spectrum is Snapchat’s “Live” feature. Depending on where a specific event is taking place in the world, Snapchat sends out a digital boundary that encompasses where the event is specifically. Snapchat users who are in those boundaries can upload their photos and videos to the story. Snapchat curators can then collect the stories of users and put together a full length video for all users to see.
This way, Snapchat users can essentially become their own news anchors by sending out their own POV from inside the boundaries. This is a great tool for users who would be more interested in hearing or seeing the political campaign from a more youthful point of view. Real time videos from real people instead of those sitting behind a desk could quite possibly be the thing that keeps these users returning.
It’s not In-Depth, but It’s Something
Obviously there is a lot more to the political campaigns than two minute videos and five second photos. It will be interesting to see if Peter Hamby and Snapchat will be able to cover all of the angles with quick fix information, or whether they will take the chance and make longer content.
Whatever they decide to do, its painfully obvious how short attention spans have become, and how easily things like politics and news can be forgotten. Offering this information in a way that’s quick, easily accessible and more on the wave of young audiences, could be really beneficial to both sides.
Users can get the information they should know about in between chatting with their friends, and parties will be able to share their campaigns more easily with a demographic that is harder to intrigue.3