Schwarzenegger taps Snapchat for presidential endorsement

The celebrity and former governor uses the social app to endorse one of the four remaining Republicans seeking their party's nomination.

schwarzenegger.jpg

Arnold Schwarzenegger snaps a presidential endorsement.

Screenshot by CNET

Arnold Schwarzenegger, body builder, action hero and former governor, showed Sunday that he can still catch trends when he used Snapchat to endorse Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the presidential race.

Former California Gov. Schwarzenegger, who is 68, has been an avid user of social media, with 4.5 million followers on Instagram and 3.8 million on Twitter. He started using Snapchat a year ago to promote the Arnold Sports Festival. Snapchat hosts photos and short videos for up to 24 hours before terminating them. In other words, it's the only medium where Arnold won't be back -- until his next snap.

"I want John Kasich to be the next nominee of the Republicans and also to be the next president of the United States," Schwarzenegger said in a 10-second video shot selfie-style with Kasich at his side. A subsequent post showed Schwarzenegger rousing the crowd at a Kasich rally in Ohio.

Kasich is one of four Republicans still seeking that party's nomination but is a distant fourth place when it comes to delegates earned in primary elections.

Schwarzenegger isn't alone in embracing social media as the place to unfurl their political choices. Lena Dunham, the creator and star of "Girls," has used Facebook and Kim Kardashian has tapped Instagram to endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination , while comedian Sarah Silverman has taken to Twitter to voice support for Clinton rival Bernie Sanders.

Though difficult to verify, it's possible that Schwarzenegger is the first major figure to endorse a candidate through Snapchat.

Snapchat, meanwhile, has been used by several of the presidential hopefuls themselves, including Clinton and Republican Ted Cruz. With 45 percent of Snapchat's 100 million-plus daily users between 18 and 24, the candidates are no doubt seeking that sweet, elusive youth vote. Sanders, who is 74, poked fun at himself after starting his Snapchat account, tweeting: "What is this Snapshot thing and why do I only get ten seconds?"

Schwarzenegger's endorsement speaks to the lightning pace at which tech trends travel. Snapchat, now a valuable marketing tool, was only a year old during the 2012 presidential elections. The app, first available for Apple's iOS devices, wasn't even out for Android devices when Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race.

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