Messages sent over Snapchat may be temporary, but the app’s parent company, Snap, has been using the service to help effect positive political change that could last decades. Snap announced yesterday that in the past two weeks, it has helped around 418,000 of its users register to vote in time for the upcoming U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 6.
How? By popping a simple button onto the profiles of Snapchat users aged 18 and over, and sending video snaps asking them to register, The New York Times reports. The button took users to TurboVote.org, a nonpartisan voter registration site that first helps visitors figure out whether they’re eligible to vote, and then directs them to their state and local registration sites.
The exact breakdown reveals that many of the voters Snap helped register live in key swing states: 17,994 registered in Ohio; 22,649 registered in Georgia; 29,044 registered in Florida; and a whopping 79,148 registered in Texas, by the company’s numbers.
“There is no more powerful form of self-expression than the ability to vote,” Jennifer Stout, global head of public policy at Snap, told the Times. “The numbers we’ve seen have been fantastic and have shown us that our users have been some of the most engaged communities out there.”
Snapchat has a userbase that skews young, with hundreds of millions of daily active users. The Times points out that young voters are historically not very active in off years, with just 17.1% of 18- t0-24-year-olds voting in the 2014 midterms. But Snap’s impressive registration numbers may indicate a turning tide during this uniquely important year.