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#Snapchat gets #Political

Daily Dot
The advertising arm of Snapchat is still more than a little bit clunky, if you ask me. When ads do crop up on your feed, despite how much more prevalent it's becoming, it's still rather jarring, especially when the companies in question make them look like the same kind of content regular users post. Well, things just took a turn for the super-weird as politically motivated material has started appearing on the app, and not in the way you might expect.

Most of the ads which have appeared are video based, as you might expect, but one in particular, exclusive to users in Ohio, took a different approach. Snapchat offers a wide compliment of filters which you can slap over your pictures to make them a little bit more interesting/ugly. Ohio users who have flicked through the filters over the past few days will have discovered one orange filter that frames your face and puts the statement above it - 'How I feel about the bad Iran deal'.

The idea is that people would add the filter, and then pull a face that reflects their stance. It was put into effect by the non-profit group Secure America Now, ahead of a live debate in Cleveland. Putting aside the fact that Snapchat's core demographic is very young, you could be forgiven for thinking that this kind of thing is somewhat trivialising a very important issue. On the other side though, the filter is supposedly performing above and beyond expectations, and given that Snapchat users are so young, on average, even this kind of approach can be lauded for raising awareness and opening up the debate.

A lot of Snapchat's more recent content seems to be geared towards a more mature approach. It might be that they are trying to broaden their appeal or simply bring their current audience something unexpected, but it's worth bearing in mind that a lot of the more eye-catching content of late has been down to outside influence, from this to the Mecca coverage, which was done as a response to requests from Muslim users.

Whether this political filter will end up being a one-off or more groups start trying it is really hard to predict, but personally I can't really see Snapchat becoming any kind of major hub for political debate to rival Facebook or Twitter. It's at least nice to see that people are using it to ask important questions, though.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#Snapchat gets #Political Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, August 09, 2015 Rating: 5

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