Snapchat empowers young people to vote in the federal election

Snap Australia has become the latest digital platform to launch its own election resources to encourage young Australians to get involved in the upcoming election.

Last week the platform went live on a partnership with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) designed to educate and engage millions of Gen Z voters to have their say on election day.

The partnership will leverage Snapchat’s augmented reality technology and made-for-mobile video features for a series of in-app tools that would drive enrolments, educate on voter servicers and share key information around polling day.

Snap Inc  APAC general manager Kathryn Carter said the team was thrilled to partner with the AEC to help educate the Snapchat community on the upcoming election.

“We reach millions of young Australians everyday on Snapchat, many of whom are politically engaged but voting for the first time. Using the power of the Snapchat camera, we’ve partnered with the AEC to ensure young Australians have all the information they need to vote confidently in this election. Tapping into the educational capabilities of AR and making content highly shareable, the campaign has been designed to share with friends so Snapchatters can encourage one another to get involved and start a discussion about the upcoming election.”

Snap has created an educational Quiz Lens that will allow Snapchat users to found out if they’re eligible to vote and how to make their vote count. Another filter created for the partnerships states ‘My votes will help shape Australia’, and a sticker pack has been created to remind users about polling day and encourage them to vote.

AEC ‘s director of media and digital engagement, Evan Ekin-Smyth, said that it was exciting to see the partnership unfold to support young voters to have their say this election.

“It’s been great working with Snapchat to create fun and engaging content that will establish voting as a rite of passage,” he said.

“The AEC wants to help young people enrol and learn how to vote correctly, so this becomes a lifelong habit that will have a positive impact on themselves, their friends, families and communities. I encourage all Snapchat users to check out our Federal Election content and make their vote count in 2022.”

The partnership sees Snapchat join the likes of Meta and TikTok, who have each created similar tools to help empower young Australians to get involved in the 2022 Federal Election.

TikTok also worked with the AEC to develop its own election guide, an Australian first for the platform, but something it had rolled out previously for international markets.

The guide, which is available in-app, was created to ‘promote the importance of being enrolled to vote’ and ‘provide authoritative information on the election process, from where to vote and the ways to vote, through to preferential voting explainers’.

The AEC’s Ekin-Smyth said of the partnership: “We’re liaising closely with TikTok and greatly appreciate their collaboration in driving participation in the election process, and on measures designed to preserve election integrity. We’re excited by TikTok’s Election Guide and its potential to be an important resource for the platform’s community. The hub will help Australian voters on TikTok access credible, reliable information to enrol and vote.”

The new tools have been introduced alongside a new partnership with the Australian Associated Press, who will join Agence France-Press to assist in factchecking efforts on the platform.

Across its platforms, Meta has developed feed notifications that will be used closer to the election for people over 18, reminding them to vote and also connecting them to reliable information about the voting process. Over on  Instagram elections stickers will be available on Instagram stories for users to celebrate and encourage voter engagement.

Like TikTok, Meta has also bolstered its efforts to minimise misinformation on its platform ahead of the election, however, these efforts have come under criticism from the likes of Reset Australia, who found that the digital platform was not doing enough to stop the spread of misinformation.

It’s not just social media platforms that are working to encourage young Australians to participate in the election. On this weeks’ Mumbrellacast Calum Jaspan spoke to The Guardian’s Matilda Bosely to talk about how she and The Guardian are using the platform to inform and engage young Australians in politics.


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