Google IO 2016 Coverage

The White House joins Snapchat as Obama prepares for final SOTU

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Tomorrow night, President Barack Obama will speak to everyone in the United States for what is going to be his final State of the Union address. It will apparently be a departure from traditional State of the Union addresses that see Congress pressed for decisions on a mountain of subjects; Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff, spoke on various Sunday morning television shows to say that Obama will be talking about himself and the lives Americans can now live. But since we’re not in the business of covering politics, this post will stay in the realm of technology. So I’m here to tell you that you can go behind the scenes of the State of the Union address by adding the White House as a friend on Snapchat.

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Joshua Miller, the White House’s Director of Product, introduced the White House to Snapchat in a blog post this morning. Miller, who previously worked with Facebook, noted that it only makes sense to be on Snapchat considering the platform’s young and active users:

“There are over 100 million daily active Snapchat users, and over 60 percent of American smartphone users between the ages of 13 and 34 use the platform. In light of the number of Americans who use the service to consume news and share with their friends, the White House is joining Snapchat to engage this broad cross-section of the population in new and creative ways. Tomorrow, our Official Story will take you behind the scenes of the White House’s State of the Union preparations, with footage and angles you won’t find anywhere else.”

You can add the White House as a friend on Snapchat by searching “WhiteHouse” or by scanning the Snapcode at the top of this page.

President Obama will give his final State of the Union address on January 12 at 9:00PM ET. The Republican Party’s response will follow immediately after.

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Staying on the digital course, the White House and Google released a joint announcement that the State of the Union address will also be broadcasted live on YouTube. Three YouTube creators will then be sent to Washington on Friday, January 15, to do a live interview with Obama at 2:15PM ET.

Destin Sandlin, Adande Thorne, and Ingrid Nilsen are currently taking questions from fans to consider asking the U.S. President during the interview. Just use hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama on social media and maybe Obama will answer a question from you.

Being on Snapchat and hosting interviews with YouTube-based personalities isn’t much of a surprise. Even before Obama entered the White House seven years ago, the people around him have been very accepting of utilizing technology. And the administration has used it all the way through to his final days in the White House. Last month, we were all invited to explore the White House’s Christmas decorations.

Source: The White House, Google


About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studying marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.