Snapchat releases new lens to encourage young voters to discuss issues

4 May 2021, 16:24

Snapchat's new Speech to Street lens
Snapchat_SpeechtoStreet_London. Picture: PA

The social media platform has released the Speech to Street lens ahead of the local elections across the UK on Thursday.

Mental health is the number one issue among young voters ahead of the local elections later this week, according to new research from Snapchat.

The social media platform has launched a campaign – Speech to Street – to encourage younger voters to have their say on political issues and share their thoughts using a new lens in the Snapchat app.

As part of the initiative, Snapchat commissioned a survey that asked 1,500 people aged 16 to 25 to name the issues that mattered most to them – 40% said mental health, followed by NHS healthcare availability (27%), wages and the cost of living (26%), poverty and homelessness (25%) and jobs (24%).

The new Speech to Street augmented reality lens will enable Snapchat users to share an image alongside a campaign badge showing the issue they care most about.

Snapchat's Speech to Street lens
The lens enables users to flag the political issues they care about (Snapchat)

The research also found that when it came to healthcare in general, nearly half of those asked (46%) believe the Government should prioritise more investment in the NHS, followed by better pay for key workers and more investment in mental health care.

Taking action against climate change was found to be a key priority for young people too, with 39% calling for greater investment in sustainable energy, and 38% want to see more done to reduce or ban single-use plastics.

Matt Jones and Abi Stephenson, from Vmly&R – the firm which created the Speech to Street lens, said: “During elections we all hear and see the lofty promises made by politicians, but many young people feel like their voices and opinions are sidelined or marginalised.

“Speech to Street is a civic engagement tool that cuts through the bull and genuinely elevates the opinions and voices of the Gen Z community, helping inspire them to enact change through ground-up activism and conversation, and most of all, making their opinion count on election day.”

By Press Association