Millennials on Snapchat Are Politically Engaged, Following 2016 Race

According to a recent survey, Snapchat is a powerful vehicle for political campaigns to engage the elusive audience of 18-34 year old millennials who will help decide the 2016 election. A national poll of 1,517 millennials aged 18-34, conducted online October 15-25, by Global Strategy Group/Public Opinion Strategies, found that millennial Snapchat users are engaging with the political process, following the election closely, and look to Snapchat for an insider view of campaigns. Millennials on Snapchat are more likely to vote than millennials as a whole.


  • Likely millennial voters are on Snapchat: Two-thirds (67{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of Snapchat’s millennial users are likely to vote in the 2016 election, compared with 61{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of millennials overall. And among all millennials who are likely to vote in next year’s election, about one-third (34{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) currently use Snapchat. Snapchat’s millennial users include large segments of key swing voter groups such as self-identifying independent voters (39{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) and Hispanics (22{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).
  • Millennials on Snapchat are politically engaged: Nearly two-thirds (63{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of millennial Snapchat users are following the 2016 Presidential election closely – 43{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} viewed the CNN Republican Primary Debate on September 16th and 39{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} viewed the CNN Democratic Primary Debate on October 13th. Millennial Snapchat users are also interested in political news Live Stories on Snapchat. Among Snapchat millennials who state interest in Live Stories, about two-thirds (68{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) are interested in political events like the presidential debates.
  • Snapchat offers a unique, “behind-the-scenes” look at campaigns and candidates: Millennial
    Snapchat users describe the app as “an insider look at a candidate’s day-to-day life” (54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} describes well), “a rare opportunity to see candidates unscripted” (53{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}), and “like a backstage pass to campaigns” (50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}). This notion of authenticity is reflected in millennials’ descriptions of how a candidate’s Snapchat account impacts how they feel about the candidate overall (see word cloud below).


  • Millennials are spending significant time on their smartphones and tablets: Millennials spend more time on their smartphone or tablet than watching live television – 68{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} use their devices more than an hour a day compared to 53{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} who watch more than an hour of live television a day.
  • Social media is the dominant source of digital election news for millennials: One-third (33{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222})
    of all millennials have used social media in the last few months to learn about campaigns or elections. Among millennials who get news about campaigns and elections from digital sources, social networks are the top sources for information (65{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}), above online news sites (57{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) and search engines (53{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}). This trend is even more pronounced among Snapchat users, with 79{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} using social networks as their primary digital source for campaign information, followed by search engines (55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) and online news sites (54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).
  • Millennials are watching TV and checking social media simultaneously: Three-quarters (73{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of all millennials use a smartphone or tablet to at least occasionally check social media while watching live television, including 86{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of millennial Snapchat users. During the presidential debates, 32{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of millennial Snapchat users who watched the first Democratic debate and 28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} who watched a recent Republican debate were on Snapchat simultaneously.

(ASKED OF SNAPCHAT USERS) How would you describe how a candidate’s Snapchat account impacts how you feel about the candidate overall?


Public Opinion Strategies