Instagram is starting a new campaign to encourage people to register to vote, using ads in both users’ stories and feed to offer an easy_click link with information on registering. So, Facebook too is preparing to influence the U.S. purposefully. Mid-Term elections after spending two years trying to be safe against foreign intervention.
How do they work?
Instagram intends to run ads in feed and stories powered by TurboVote which will target all US Instagram users over 18 and lead them towards information on how to get suitably registered and abide by voting rules. Then, on the election day, users will be able to add an “I Voted” sticker to their Instagram posts and stories which links to voting information.
What are the benefits of these vote stickers?
These new stickers can boost voter turnout, mainly between Instagram’s core audience of millennials. If one of the political parties has base skews younger, they could get an advantage.
“Ahead of National Voter Registration Day, we are helping our community register to vote and get to the polls on November 6th” Instagram announced.
“From today, Instagram will connect US voters with the information they need to get registered.”
Facebook vote message
In the year 2010, a non-partisan “Get out the vote” message atop the FB News Feed was measured to have driven 340,000 additional votes.
The study by Nature shows that:
“a single message on Facebook might have caused more of the 0.6% growth in turnout between 2006 and 2010”.
That’s great considering the 2000 election had just 0.1 percent of voters.
You can view Instagram’s videos for voting below, which feature a cartoony purple character and aims at the younger audience.
They avoid any Republican or Democratic metaphors, but also stick to a bright and American style that could ensure the clips are not mistaken for Russian propaganda.
Instagram admitted that 120,000 Instagram posts by the Russian army intelligence group the Internet Research Agency approached 20 million Americans in an attempt to propagate discord around the 2016 presidential election. They used different types of memes about polarizing social issues to try to break the country.
The Russian disinformation attacks could still make people too exhausted to learn about voting. However, more production means a more liberal society, so it’s better to see the positive result of Instagram efforts here.