Though President Barack Obama's time in office will be ending this year, his legacy in the White House is far from disappearing. As of Monday, Obama can add joining Snapchat to the growing list of initiatives and campaigns he has secured over his two terms.
The White House made its debut on the popular disapperaing-messaging app by launching an “Official Story,” as in the coordinators of the account took photos and videos during the day and stitched them together via the app. Any Snapchat user who follows “WhiteHouse” on the app can view the story. The first story will include “behind the scenes of the White House's State of the Union preparations,” according to a blog post published Monday morning.
The effort is in part an appeal to millennials. Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users and a large audience of young Americans. Over 60 percent of smartphone users age 13-34 in the United States use the app, the White House noted in its post.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 11, 2016
Joining Snapchat is just the latest social media push the White House and Obama have made as of late. Earlier this week, the White House announced it will be tapping the site Genius to annotate the State of the Union address as well as other speeches Obama has made. For his 2015 State of Union address, Obama also made an unprecedented move by publishing the full transcript on the blogging site Medium before presenting it on live television or sharing a copy with the media.
Last year, Obama launched a second Twitter account, under the handle @POTUS, and he also launched a new Facebook page. Both of these accounts were made to further promote the president’s initiatives while in office.
The moves fit under the White House’s strategy of “meeting people where they are,” which was the title of a Medium post published by Jason Goldman, the chief digital officer of the White House, on Sunday.
“We’ll be reaching people where they are — and making it possible for them to engage, respond and share the President’s speech themselves in new and different ways,” the post reads.
Goldman, who was one of the cofounders of the microblogging service Twitter, was the first person to have such a position at the White House. Under his leadership, the team has worked to add more services and be at the forefront of digital innovation. That effort includes making speeches accessible and understandable to a generation of cord-cutters.
“So what does it mean to ‘meet people where they are’? First, it means recognizing the massive shift in the American media diet toward on-demand video,” Goldman wrote on Medium. “Whether you use a smart TV, web browser, mobile device or tablet, there’s a way for you to watch the President’s speech as it happens and on demand."