Snapchat Preps for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election With Its New Political Ads Library

The messaging app also outlined its policies for the category

Snapchat said all political and advocacy ads on its platform are vetted by humans stockcam/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

With the 2020 presidential campaign in the U.S. beginning to ramp up, Snapchat followed in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter by introducing a Political Ads Library, as well as detailing its policy on political ads on its platform.

Snapchat recently rolled out its Political Ads Library, which contains all political and advocacy ads that have run on its platform and provides information including the name and address of the person or organization who paid for the ads, run dates, money spent, ad impressions and demographics that were targeted by the ads.

The company said it created an archive for 2018 and has an ongoing one for 2019, both containing ads from throughout the world.

Snapchat said all political and advocacy ads on its platform are vetted by humans, and political ads must include “paid for by” messages revealing the person or entity who funded the ad.

In the U.S., electoral ads must state whether or not they were authorized by candidates or organizations, and those that were not must include contact information for the organization that sponsored them.

Political ads served by Snapchat must be paid for by residents or entities of the country where the ads are running.

Snapchat pointed out that the nature of its platform has shielded it from many of the issues related to political ads that have plagued other social networks.

It was built as a platform for communicating with close friends, and it is private by default, with no interactions taking place without mutual permission and no public profile pages for individual people or public news feed.

As for the 2020 presidential election, the company cited Pew Research Center data showing that millennials and Generation Z will comprise the largest voting bloc and pointed out that some 80% of its U.S. users are 18 or older.

Snapchat also cited its voter-registration partnership with TurboVote for the U.S. midterm elections in 2018, saying that over 400,000 users registered to vote via the interface, and most were 24 or younger.

And on Election Day 2018, tools including Snap Map and the messaging application’s integration with nonprofit Get to the Polls helped some 1.4 million people find their polling locations. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.