Friday, September 30, 2016

Does This Blog Post Appeal To Millennials?

Given the number of people that tuned in this Monday, chances are you saw the first presidential debate. And given the number of Snapchat users at OPRF, chances are you also saw Donald Trump's debate day geofilter.

Now I supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries and I proudly support Hillary now, so I might be a little biased in saying I found this to be completely obnoxious, especially considering that there was no alternative filter of Clinton supporters. 

Throughout the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton has developed a reputation for trying too hard to appeal to millennials. While there is absolutely truth in that, Donald Trump is having an even harder time appealing to young voters with less than 2% of his supporters being under the age of thirty (source). His struggle to win over young voters can be chalked up to the fact that millennials are an exceptionally liberal generation, both socially and economically. So how is Trump going to win over that key demographic? Social media, obviously. Everybody knows about Trump's twitter and if don't follow him at this point, you're probably not ever going to follow him. So Trump has to find another platform to reach out online. And if you're trying to appeal to millennials, you go to Snapchat.

While the average age of Twitter users is roughly 32, the large majority of snapchat users are under 30. Nearly half of all snapchat users are under 25 and another 30% are under 35. And despite being unpopular with most people in that demographic, Trump's filter actually got a lot of use.

Going back to how Clinton has struggled to win over younger voters; she has developed a reputation for desperately trying (and failing) to seem cool and relatable, which has ultimately led to people mocking her online for being out of touch. As much as millennials dislike Trump, the majority of them aren't too enthusiastic about Hillary either. More and more young voters are choosing to vote for third party candidates or just not vote at all because Hillary doesn't appeal to them like Bernie Sanders did. Bernie was an uncomplicated candidate who wanted to stand up to economic and political institutions, and Hillary crushed him in the primaries. For this reason, the simple attack on Hillary's character rather than a projection of Trump's platform was probably the most effective way to entice snapchat users to actually use the filter. Had it displayed the border wall at the bottom, it just wouldn't have been used.

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