How Snapchat is revolutionizing this year's election
In this digital age, social media has become an important medium for people -- especially millennials -- to learn about politics. And that's why many social media influencers, including viral sensation Ali Spagnola, have decided to put their own spin and massive political events, including this year's Republican National Convention.
Spagnola not only gave her users her insight into the RNC, but she also shared her expertise on how social media platforms -- more specifically Snapchat -- will be completely revolutionizing this year's election. As she notes, "It wasn't as prolific four years ago. I don't get my media coverage from Snapchat but I know some people do, so certainly that will have some affect on their opinions." Especially with Snapchat's curated feeds, the platform could change the way people view the US election.
During this year's RNC, we sat down with Ali Spagnola to talk more about social media's influence on the 2016 presidential election.
And for more on this year's RNC, scroll through the gallery below!
Talk to me a little bit about how you first got your start in social media.
I started as a traditional musician. I was playing shows in clubs and strumming my guitar in coffee shops. It was pretty boring and I wanted my shows to feel more like a party so I started turning it into a drinking game and it was much easier to market. I felt like I had something to offer besides asking people to come to my boring show. It was a party not a boring guitar strumming session. So I was doing those shows and I realized that if I sold out a 500 seater that was a great night and a great show. But if I made a YouTube video that got 500 views sucks. So clearly the way to get exposure and the most eyes was the internet. So it started with Twitter and I made jokes and then everything just kept moving from there.
How do you balance all your different content for different platforms?
They're all completely different languages and you have to speak to whatever culture it is. You have to alter all the contents. But there's some platforms I'm not active one -- Pinterest is one of them. The frat bros aren't really interested in the recipes I'm Pinning.
How has it been so far covering the RNC?
This is first time doing something like this for me, so I'm trying to handle it delicately. I certainly want to put my own comedic spin on it. So far it's been good and I've been able to view whatever is going on here through my goofy lens.
Would you say that you're politically inclined or very politically knowledgeable?
I wouldn't say knowledgeable but I am interested in it. I'm never Tweeting political ideas; I stick to mostly music and comedy.
What has been the reaction from your fans while you've been covering the RNC?
Some people were angry that I'm a Republican, but that's not actually the case. Throughout the week I've been trying to explain going to this doesn't make me a Republican, I'm covering it as neutrally as possible. Other than that, people mostly get it and have been laughing and appreciating it.
How do you see social media influencing the election?
It's doing it in a huge way -- that's the way are consuming content. Any little bit will influence you whether it's consciously or subconsciously. It's going to make a big difference in how people think and the way they view these candidates.
Snapchat is new to this election too.
It wasn't as prolific four years ago. I don't get my media coverage from Snapchat but I know some people do, so certainly that will have some affect on their opinions. I did a panel about Snapchat specifically too at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Specifically talking about whether or not we should be looking at this curated story Snapchat is giving us or trying to get more raw, organic stuff from our friends, which is probably just more content by people who think like us. Your Facebook feed is just everything you ask to see, so it's never opposing opinions.
You also performed after the panel too. What was it like performing at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame?
It was epic! I was glad I could check that off my bucket list. It was an amazing place.
What is the biggest misconception millennials have about the election?
A whole lot of it, because I'm one of them and I still don't get it. I've had to have -- several times -- what a delegate is explained to me. Or what a contested vote. Just a lot of other things that don't get a ton of coverage. Kasich was speaking and I don't even think anyone even covered it.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
I'm working on a new album so that's in the works! It's slow moving and bringing on more people. Across the board, I've been a one woman show, but I'm bringing more people into the picture.
What has been your biggest takeaway from the RNC so far?
It's absolute chaos. It feels like "Hunger Games." This heightened world makes me feel like I'm in a movie.
For more on Snapchat and this year's election, watch the video below!
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