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FCW : July 30, 2016
July 30, 2016 FCW.COM 23 BY BIANCA SPINOSA Snapchat gives government a friendly face A handful of agencies are experimenting with the ephemeral photo-sharing service to reach younger audiences, and they’re doling out information with a healthy dose of entertainment and emojis In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month in June, USA. gov sent a story about Albert Einstein to its hundreds of Snapchat followers. One photo in the slideshow showed the Einstein memorial statue outside the National Acad- emy of Sciences, where people take photos with the genius. A rubber duck in colonial garb was perched next to the statue, and the thought bubble above the duck’s bill read, “Next week Alexander Hamilton.” More than 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 34 who have a smartphone use Snapchat, and it recently surpassed Twitter in daily users, according to a Bloomberg report. What began in 2011 as a way to share disappearing photos and videos has morphed into an app that adults use. It’s still squarely the social media platform of choice for teenagers and the 18- to 24-year-old demographic, however. In fact, teens are more likely to use Snapchat than Facebook — 23 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds snap while only 8 percent post on Facebook. Connecting directly with young people Although Snapchat has more than 100 million daily users, it’s still new territory for government agencies. USA.gov, the White House, NASA, the Peace Corps, and two Smithsonian museums — the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian — are among the hand- ful of early adopters. The White House’s account has gained a robust fol- lowing since launching in January thanks to behind-the- scenes snaps of President Barack Obama and the First Family. First Lady Michelle Obama joined Snapchat on June 21, launching her account days before a trip to Liberia, Morocco and Spain to promote girls’ education. 0730fcw_022-025.indd 23 7/13/16 2:14 PM
July 15, 2016
August 15, 2016