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The Republican convention looks very different on Snapchat

A handful of Snapchat celebrities are on hand for the RNC in Cleveland this week. We tracked them down to see how they're experiencing and sharing American democracy in action.

Signs crowd the convention floor on day three of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 20, 2016. The cost of the convention for the Republican Party will run some $64 million. The number of visitors expected in Cleveland is 50,000, including 15,000 journalists and 2,472 delegates (there are also 2,302 alternate delegates.) / AFP / Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

You can follow the Republican convention in Cleveland this week old-school style via TV, radio or print outlets. For a little more color, there are the RNC memes trending on Twitter, unique Instagram insights and even "glogging." But one of the most interesting ways to tell the stories of the convention this week is via Snapchat, the ephemeral-messaging app.

Cleveland.com flew four Snapchat celebrities into town for the RNC and invited them to snap away inside and outside the Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is being held. Mark Kaye, Ali Spagnola, Audrey Spencer and wysamx (aka Stanley Odestin) all took turns taking over Cleveland.com's Snapchat account and putting their own spin on covering the convention.

The results included Spagnola roaming around in "character" as Where's Waldo one day and as a bald eagle perching at various spots in the city another day. Kaye conducted interviews with other members of the media, while cat fanatic Spencer gave a behind-the-scenes take on the convention. And wysamx pulled delegates aside for a pop quiz that provided some interesting answers.

On the second night of the convention, the Snapchatters joined Nick Cicero of Delmondo, a firm that has created one of the first Snapchat analytics tools, for a panel discussion at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The discussion ranged from Snapchat's introduction of curated Live Stories to how much time the social media stars spend on snapping (anywhere between zero and "49 hours a day"). What else came up? Making appearances in the dreams of fellow snappers.

"I've had an influx of people saying they dream about me," Spagnola said. "I think it's because they watch their snaps before bed."

I grabbed Cicero after the panel to ask for his thoughts on Snapchat at the Republican convention.

"Snapchat really found themselves in the right place at the right time, like Twitter in 2008," he said. "Over the past year, Snapchat has come into the public eye at a perfect time. Obviously we're in an election cycle. We have the Olympics coming up in Rio. We have all these major world events that social platforms are now so accustomed to tying into. So, with Snapchat, they're hitting their stride at a perfect time where they get the election this year to talk about it all and to build really great things around it."

I also spoke with Spagnola about the role Snapchat plays in her life compared with other platforms like Twitter. Check out our full conversation below.

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