Snapchat became the latest social media platform commandeered by a politician when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) gave an unexpected exclusive interview to CNN via the disappearing message app on Wednesday.
Snapchat is not a bad idea, really – the platform forces a politician to answer a question in 10 seconds or less, which could engage an entire sect of audience that might otherwise tune out a nationally televised debate or press conference. It remains, however, a full-blown stunt (unless someone can prove Paul’s frequent and prolific Snapchat use). And the interview left little mystery around whether he will campaign for the White House, even if all he gave away was a "maybe" in response to a Snapchatted photo of the President’s digs. He also responded to the photo saying the White House "may have to guard the fence a little bit better than they’ve been doing lately."
Rand’s interview, while the first of its kind for any presidential hopeful, is likely only the beginning of a long election season full of candidates exploiting every corner of social media once reserved for Millennials. A Reddit AMA might make sense, but what’s next – a candidacy announcement made up entirely of memes? Vine debates? Where is the line drawn between innovative and cheesy?
The current White House has made formerly unconventional media outreach seem normal, so it’s expected that the GOP is going to flex its social media savvy ahead of November 2016. Less than a week ago, POTUS launched its social media-heavy State of the Union address and subsequent interviews with YouTube personalities.
For those wondering, the interview is available on the app. Meanwhile, if traditional media is still your thing, various outlets wrote about the interview, too.
not sure format works but fun & you'll find it in Snapchat Discover today - Snapchat Interview with Senator Rand Paul http://t.co/W8qo2ysx4o— Jenn Van Grove (@jbruin) January 28, 2015
YES: "This is like calling your mom over Facetime and watching as she holds the phone to her ear." http://t.co/cGUfSBhDbo— Jose A. DelReal (@jdelreal) January 28, 2015
Rand Paul: If drones fly over my house "they better be aware because I’ve got a shotgun." http://t.co/UamEEuaXO0— Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) January 28, 2015