Social media influencers could get their own White House briefing room as Biden looks to younger voters
Ahead of next year's electionBy Rob Thubron 18 comments
WTF?! Just how much influence do influencers really have? The Biden administration certainly doesn't underestimate the hold these social media stars have on young people. According to a new report, they may be given their own briefing room at the White House as part of a strategy to reach younger demographics ahead of next year's election.
The Biden administration's plan to use influencers could help it reach younger people who do not follow mainstream news or the White House/Democratic Party on social media, reports Axios. It could also be a way for Biden, who has yet to announce his re-election bid, to rival Donald Trump's massive social media presence should the former president become the GOP nominee next year.
Nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers TikTok and Instagram over Google Search, according to Google internal data.
"We're trying to reach young people, but also moms who use different platforms to get information and climate activists and people whose main way of getting information is digital," Jen O'Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff, told Axios.
Four of Biden's digital staffers will reach out to influencers, social media stars, and other independent content creators. The staffers officially work in the White House and are not part of the president's re-election campaign. Rob Flaherty, currently the assistant to the president and director of digital strategy, is said to be leading the push.
@harryjsisson It is insane!!! #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo #fyp âÂ¬ original sound - Harry
Biden's White House already partners with content creators, who are unpaid for their work. Twenty-year-old Harry Sisson (above) looks at the day's news on TikTok. There's also Boston College professor Heather Cox Richardson and former trader Vivian Tu. Sisson had already enquired about recieving White House press briefing passes. "They were actually very responsive to it [the request]," he said. Influencers have also been given access to Biden while he was on the road.
Giving influencers with massive TikTok followings their own White House briefing room seems at odds with the bipartisan criticism of the Chinese-owned app; it was only last month when the Biden administration gave TikTok an ultimatum: sell or be banned. The president, meanwhile, has repeatedly spoken about the negative impact social media can have on young people's mental health.