How Snapchat's turning into a political battleground

Messaging app Snapchat has been ramping up its political presence during the past few months, and Super PACs are now getting in on the action.

Foreign policy advocacy group Secure America Now paid Snapchat to produce a politically themed photo filter, The New York Times reported. Users place the filter over a selfie and it displays the text: "How I Feel About the Bad Iran Deal."

The new kind of social media-first advertising comes as Republican presidential hopefuls took to the debate stage Thursday night. Politicians using social media is nothing new, but Snapchat has become an increasingly important way for candidates to reach the coveted, smartphone-carrying youth.

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For example, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a new 10-second ad on the social network. It showcases parts of his campaign launch with a female simply stating, "He's awesome," before it ends.

Snapchat has a long way to go before surpassing Facebook's reach, however. Among adults aged between 18 and 34, about 67 percent get their news from Twitter and 74 percent from Facebook, according to Pew Research Center data from 2015.

Among teenagers, however, Snapchat has surpassed Twitter as a social media platform. According to a Pew survey, about 41 percent of teenagers between ages 13 and 17 use the social network, compared to 33 percent for Twitter.