With statistics showing that younger people are less inclined to get out and vote, social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, are finding ways to boost voter participation.
Instagram is adding a set of new features including stickers that enable users to share when they have casted their vote. Friends and followers can then tap the “I Voted” sticker and find their own polling location via “Get to the Polls”.
Further, you will see a “We Voted!” story at the front of your stories bar when several friends post a story with the “I Voted” sticker. After clicking, you will then see all your friends’ (and the people you follow) voting excitement all in one place. This form of peer sharing can be highly effective when encouraging others to take action. After all, I believe we are much more inclined to be influenced by someone we already know.
And other platforms are joining the bandwagon, too.
Snapchat is rolling out a range of Election Day stickers and lenses in order to promote voter activity. In addition, the platform will send a video to all users to remind them to vote, while also adding polling locations to Snap Map.
Because both apps skew predominantly young, it will be interesting to see if these features will have a positive impact in propelling the younger demographic to cast a vote. If so, these platforms have the potential to play a significant role in today’s mid-term elections.