There's no denying that young people are becoming civically engaged and invested in politics now more than ever.
Gen Z is said to be the most outspoken, socially aware demographic. Not only have they used their voices to lead marches, protests and social movements, but they've used technology to revolutionize the way we receive and consume information. They believe technology is power and they use platforms like TikTok and Snapchat to make their voices heard.
Young thought leaders, especially those of color, are making such an impact that they influence how companies navigate everything from product prices to polling — so much so that Snapchat is designing a new feature that provides users with information on over 75,000 upcoming elections, polls and even tools for running for office, according to Snapchat's newsroom. But connecting the next generation to voting resources is not new for the company. During the 2020 election, the app reported that it helped 1.2 million people register to vote, half of whom were first-time voters.
"At Snap, we believe one of the most powerful forms of self-expression is participating in democracy. Snapchat reaches 90% of 13-24-year-olds in the U.S., giving us a meaningful opportunity to empower the next generation to become active and engaged citizens," said Snapchat.
Now, Snapchat is taking it one step further and making running for school board, city council or legislator one click away. Run for Office Mini was created to help Snapchatters civically engage in a mobile way. With this new in-app tool, young people can explore hundreds of political office options based on the issues they care about most. Entering their zip code and topics of interest will connect users to candidate recruitment organizations, including Run for Something, Run GenZ and the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which provides training and resources to prepare for a campaign.
The app goes as far as to suggest possible positions that might fit the user's skill sets and interests, as well as what steps they need to take to get on a ballot. It even allows them to "nominate" friends whose political skills might make the best candidate.
"Starting today, any Snapchat user in the United States can log into Run for Office by opening Snapchat, swiping down on the camera screen to access Snap's in-app games, known as 'Minis,' or simply just searching 'Run for Office' within Snapchat," Snapchat said.
The company reported that, in 2020, more than 30 million Snapchat users took advantage of the in-app voting tool. The company claims that it reaches 90% of users who are 13- to 24-year-old.
With only 6% of state legislators under 35, Snapchat representatives said they hope this app will help shape a more equitable and reflective democracy.
"This generation has grown up being able to do whatever they want from their phones. … If SnapChatters want to make sure that the issues they care most about are represented by leadership, then they need to run," Sofia Gross, Snapchat's head of social impact, said.
From climate change to politics, Gen Z is determined to see a better world. Snapchat is moving what matters most to this generation forward.