It looks like Hillary Clinton is going to start campaigning on Snapchat any day now.
The presidential hopeful is already popular on Instagram after only two days on the service. So I tried to see if I could find Clinton on Snapchat — and it turns out, every name she could possibly use has already been reserved.
This means that either someone’s planning a fake account, or the Clinton campaign is stockpiling the names themselves.
A Snapchat spokesperson wouldn’t speak on the record about Clinton’s possible involvement with Snapchat, and Clinton’s press team has not responded to a request for comment.
If Clinton is planning a Snapchat effort, she won’t be the first. Presidential contenders Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio already use Snapchat to share information about their campaigns.
I did some digging on Snapchat in an effort to figure out how and when Secretary Clinton will engage with the photo sharing platform.
I found that the following usernames are currently taken:
This is what happened when we tried to send a Snapchat to each of these accounts:
The “pending” message usually shows up when a user hasn’t added you back yet because they have set their account to private. It also appeared when we tried to send a snapchat to Senator Rubio’s account, which is already in action:
Excitement about Clinton’s Snapchat plans exploded on Twitter shortly after she posted her first Instagram.
The photo and video sharing app is used by 50 million people, the median age of whom is 18, according to Forbes. Snapchat offers a valuable platform for candidates to engage young voters.
“There is no harder riddle to solve in politics than reaching young Americans who are very interested in the future of their country but don’t engage with traditional news,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior advisor to President Obama, told the New York Times. “Snapchat may have just made it a whole lot easier to solve this riddle.”
Snapchat has been staffing up in preparation for the 2016 election. In May, Dylan Byers at Politico reported that Snapchat was seeking “content analysts” to assist with 2016 election coverage. “We’re looking for political junkies and news aficionados to join our team in NYC to help review Snaps that are submitted to Our Story events, and cover the 2016 presidential race and other news events for Snapchat,” a job posting read.
Many have predicted that Snapchat will shape the 2016 election in the same way that Facebook and Twitter shaped the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
i just realised 2016 is going to be the year of using snapchat for the election
— Kyle (Seth Hug) Grey (@kylesethgray) May 11, 2015
The former Secretary of State should have no difficulty attracting attention when she does begin to use Snapchat. She cannonballed into the world of Instagram this week and already made a big splash.
In just two days, she’s acquired 121,000 followers. That number blows Marco Rubio (with 13,000) Rand Paul (with 27,200) and Jeb Bush (with 11,900) out of the water.
Candidates Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Lincoln Chafee have a combined number of 11,358 followers. Clinton outpaces each of these Democratic opponents by over 100,000 followers.
Clinton’s posts are also popular. This video, which rapidly summarises Secretary Clinton’s career in public service, received 10,400 likes.
This #tbt that she posted yesterday received over 13,000 likes.
That’s more than twice the combined number of likes that Bush, Rubio and Paul received on their last Instagram.
Clinton, who’s spent much of the last two months travelling New Hampshire and Iowa to speak about her accomplishments as a champion and leader of the American people, follows no one.
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