DES MOINES, Iowa – As a strategic move to connect to millennials, the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, running for the Democratic nomination joined Snapchat on Monday and joked around on Twitter, saying “What is this Snapshot thing and why do I only get ten seconds?”

Snapchat has currently about 50 million users. It is an increasingly popular app, especially among millennials, since the median age of users is 18. Its main attractive is that users set a time limit for how long recipients can see their videos, texts and drawings. That limit’s range is from 1 to 10 seconds, after which the “Snaps” are automatically deleted from the app’s archives.

Bernie Sanders, the lefty, 73-year-old Democratic contender chasing Hillary Clinton in the polls. On Friday, the honorable Independent senator from Vermont made his debut on the mobile app. Credit: campaignoutsider

No wonder presidential candidates have been taking advantage of the app. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich as well as his former candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are also Snapchat active users. Millennials are a critical target, since they don’t seem to be interested in politics at this time of their lives. From 2008 to 2012, the number of voters in the age range of 18 to 29 declined, whereas in 2014 the youth attendance was only 19.9%, marking the lowest youth turnout ever reported.

An estimated of three-quarters of young people do not believe that voting is an effective way to make social change, according to Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. Her organization encourages young people to take part in politics.

Sanders, 74, would be the oldest American to win a presidential election, but he seems committed to young people. Compared to the other candidates, he has the highest level of Facebook engagement, according to social media monitor CrowdTangle. This means he has the largest number of people liking his posts, sharing his messages and commenting on his moves. Moreover, the Vermont senator hosted in July a live webcast that was watched by nearly 100.000 people at 3.500 different events around the country. In Twitter, he has gained more than 868,000 followers on his campaign.

Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton is still six points over Sanders with primary voters age 18 to 45, according to a recent poll released Saturday. However, Public Policy Polling found Sanders’s favorability seems to be rising, whereas Clinton’s remains the same in that age group. Regarding Saturday night’s debate, an online poll by DeRay McKesson of 42,575 votes showed 83% of respondents believed Sanders won the debate, where he focused on veteran’s issues, climate change and Wall Street corruption. In contrast, Clinton highlighted topics such as war, terrorism and the emotions of September 11, 2001.

Source: Christian Science Monitor