New Snapchat Update Gives Users Voter Registration Tools

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rollout / ˈroʊlˌaʊt / (n) – introduction of a new product or service

    Customers are excited about the rollout of the latest smartphone model.

  2. civil / ˈsɪv əl / (adj) – relating to ordinary citizens of a country

    In the country, there are many civil organizations that protect children’s rights.

  3. demographic / ˌdɛm əˈgræf ɪk / (n) – a specific group of people with similar qualities

    The majority of the TV show’s fans are part of the young adult demographic.

  4. implement / ˈɪm pləˌmɛnt / (v) – to put something, like a plan, into effect

    Starting next week, our company will implement a dress code.

  5. registrant / ˈrɛdʒ ə strənt / (n) – someone who enters or joins something by officially registering

    Contest registrants are given a pin to show that they are part of the competition.


Read the text below.

Multimedia communication app Snapchat released an update that provides users with in-app voter registration tools.

The new tools included in the rollout were a voter checklist and a feature that helps users learn more about different voting options before the election. Through the update, users can register to vote directly on the app.

Snapchat partnered with various US civil organizations, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Democracy Works, to create the tools.

According to Snapchat, the tools were created to guide, educate, and encourage its younger users to register and vote in the upcoming US election in November. Based on data, 53% of Snapchat’s users in the US are aged 15 to 25 years old and are part of the Generation Z and millennial demographic. Statistics showed that those who are of voting age in this group are less likely to vote than those in older generations.

Snapchat had released a similar update that was implemented during the 2018 US midterm election. The update included a button that redirected users to a voter registration website. It was proven to be a success, as 450,000 people registered to vote through the app. Additionally, data showed that half of those registrants actually participated in the elections.

One Snapchat spokesperson said that the new voting tools and resources will remain active and will continue to remind users to register to vote even if there are no upcoming elections.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that Snapchat’s new tools will encourage younger people to vote? Why or why not?
• Do you think it’s safe to use Snapchat as a voter registration tool? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Apart from elections, what else can technology encourage people to participate in (e.g. environmental campaigns, protests)? Discuss.
• How else can technology encourage people to participate in these activities (e.g. by sending video messages, by offering rewards)? Explain.