Instagram’s New Feature Encourages Users To Vote On Election Day | Social Media
The 2018 Midterm brings something new to Instagram. Since last Sunday through Election Day, Instagram users can use an “I Voted” sticker, and will be seeing “We Voted!” stories, according to a new feature released by Instagram.
Image via Instagram
The “I Voted” sticker comes with it an interactive feature — you can tap on your friends’ stickers to find out which polling stations they went. As for the Instagram Story, on Election Day on Nov. 6, stories of your friends who’ve posted with the sticker will be put together to form a “We Voted!” story, placed at the very front of your Instagram Story bar.
The “I Voted” sticker is an extension from Facebook, who owns the company, and has included similar features to encourage U.S. users to execute their voting rights for years, including reminder posts that pop up once users log into Facebook.
Image via Instagram
Simple social media actions like this might actually boost voter turnout, especially when you’ve seen it from your friends, as shown in a Nature study.
Facebook conducted a test back in 2010 to compare the voter turnout between people who saw an informational message, with those who saw it with images of their friends included — the same as what Instagram is doing with stories. Results showed that about 340,000 extra voters turned out to vote in the 2010 congressional elections just because of that single Facebook message. This shows the power of social network’s influence on voting.
This research might be the reason why Facebook has decided to introduce this similar sticker feature to Instagram. Since Instagram is more popular with younger users, this year’s young voter turnout is likely to increase for users who’ve seen their friends’ “I Voted” stickers and wanted to do the same.
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