The app will share election-related information from the poll panel's website with its users through messages, filters and SnapMap
Messaging and photo-sharing app, Snapchat, is doing its part to ensure an informed electorate in India for the Lok Sabha elections, whose first phase of voting began today. It announced on April 10 that it will provide users with resources made available to them by the Election Commission of India (ECI), Mint reported.
Indian Snapchat users started receiving messages from 'Team Snapchat' from March 28 reminding them to check their details on the online voter list before the deadline. From April 10, users will get a message asking them to look up the dates of voting in their constituency. Snapchat will also send messages or 'Snaps' in each state, wherein it will provide the link to the polling location information hosted on ECI's portal.
Snapchat will leverage its salient features like image filters, stickers, Bitmoji, lenses and GPS feature Snapmap to help voters in the election. The social media platform is hoping that users will take to Snapchat and use its filters to express opinions around the elections to share with their friends.
The app has partnered with Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC India), an organisation which works for youth participation in politics, to host a geo-filter competition to promote voter engagement and expression for elections in Mumbai and Delhi.
Snapchat is also working with news agencies like The Wire, HuffPost India and Brut India to display curated stories, analysis and shows on its platform related to politics and elections. This will also be used to gauge on-ground sentiment of the voters.
"Snapchat was created to empower people to express themselves, and we believe that exercising your right to vote is a powerful example of this. We're excited to be able to engage with the young people of India this way, and point them to the helpful resources provided by the Election Commission of India. We hope our creative tools and the content created by our partners create awareness and encourage our growing Snapchat community to have their say in the upcoming elections," said a company spokesperson.
While the social media space in India is mainly dominated by Facebook and Google, Snapchat India does have a certain share of India's 500 million internet userbase. It is trying to woo more users with filters and messages related to Indian festivals and IPL, but the growth is gradual.Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have been battling to become the most suitable platform for political debate in India as social media is now a key feature of campaigning. For the first time, the ECI has brought the social media activity of political parties under the purview of the election model code of conduct.