With many tech giants trying to distance themselves from ad revenue generated by political ads, other social media platforms are stepping in. That money isn’t disappearing and Snapchat wants to scoop it up.
In the company’s Q2 earnings call this week, Snapchat CEO Jeremi Gorman said: “Yes, it’s a segment that we are actively going after.” Speaking about the large number of young people on their platform he added that “educating them, allowing them to learn more about the issues in a factual based manner, is super critical. And that is a segment with which we’re working.”
In October 2019 both TikTok and Twitter banned political ads, which started the trend in the tech industry. Google has subsequently restricted using demographics when targeting populations for political ads. While Facebook still allows political ads, it has added warnings about hateful content. It has also added the ability for users to limit the amount of political ads they see or block them altogether.
Snapchat wants to increase its share of revenue generated by political ads, in conjunction with their fact-checking ability. These ads are subject to review, and the company says they have “very specific guidelines” that govern them. It also wants to be as transparent as possible, and keeps a public archive of political and issue ads since 2018 which anyone can access.
There could potentially be a lot of upside for Snapchat. Facebook generated about $800 million in advertising revenue in the 2019/2020 election cycle, excluding the vast amounts of spending to be done on the presidential campaigns. By contrast, Snapchat has made only $5.1 million in political advertising this year.
Whether or not you believe it is right for votes to be ‘bought’ with expensive ad campaigns, they are here to stay.