Daily Insights

Snapchat Filters Politics

By: Mackenzie Baker | Oct 12, 2020

Early voting has begun in many states across the U.S., so Snapchat and USPS have teamed up to remind Americans to send in their ballots. 

Snapchat’s new “marker technology” debuts for the first time with filters sponsored by Biden for President, encouraging users to “vote” and “vote early”. Users can flip the camera to either the selfie lens, which covers them in virtual Biden-Harris merchandise, or to the outside lens, which will show off a firework display. What makes this new filter unlike others in Snapchat’s portfolio is that the marker technology detects objects and images on the camera that then activate the lens. In this case, the filter will geolocate users that are by post office locations or mail drop boxes and will then activate once shown a USPS logo or mailbox. Leaning into its geolocations and mobile features to create engaging content could help Snapchat set itself apart from social media competitors, like Instagram or TikTok, according to a Gartner report. The early voting filters can be applied to both pictures and videos, which Snapchat users can send to their friends or post on their stories. 

Snapchat’s new filter is the second initiative launched to encourage users to vote in the upcoming election. The social media platform also rolled out in-app resources to get users registered, similar to pushes from its competitors like TikTok, Facebook, and Reddit. Since the resources launched, one million users have signed up to vote through Snapchat. As Snapchat has a large Gen Z user base, 80% of whom are of voting age, its push could help prepare them to vote for the first time. By offering resources and filter reminders, Snapchat could prompt users not only to register to vote, but to actually submit their ballots now that voting has begun. Using the new geo-locating feature through a voting initiative allows Snapchat to engage its politically active audience while refining its marker technology for future activations. As young consumers turn to social media for news, shopping, and connection during the Coronavirus pandemic, Snapchat’s lens could further boost their enthusiasm and time spent on the platform. 

Snapchat’s marker filter could appeal to young users across the country and remind them to exercise their right to vote. With early voting underway in nearly two dozen states already, Snapchat’s voting resources and filters could turn voting into a relevant social media experience.