July 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Staff of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti joins Snapchat

It remains unclear how often the mayor's staff will be responding to chats from fellow Snapchatters.
It remains unclear how often the mayor’s staff will be responding to chats from fellow Snapchatters.

The staff of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday they joined Snapchat, a social messaging app for smartphones that allows users to exchange short-lived texts, pictures and videos.

Unlike with other chat applications, messages sent through Snapchat are meant to vanish soon after they are received, but it’s unclear how often the mayor’s staff will be responding to chats from fellow Snapchatters, who tend to skew female and 25 or younger, according to a Business Intelligence report.

One staffer said today they received a photo of someone at the Staples Center, and a text message sent by City News Service went unanswered.

But the mayor’s office appears to be using a more permanent feature of Snapchat that allows users to publish “stories” that can be viewed by people who become friends with the account, which is at “lamayorsoffice.”

The account debuted a three-second clip on Friday of the mayor playing an upright piano.

Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman said it was the mayor’s idea to join Snapchat. The mayor wanted a new way for the public to “have a conversation with Angelenos,” similar to the office hours, town hall meetings and neighborhood walks that politicians sometimes organize, he said.

Snapchat’s offices are based in Venice, and as a so-called “Internet- based business” in Los Angeles, receives tax breaks from the city, paying $1.01 for every $1,000 in gross receipts, compared with the usual $5.07 rate now being paid by many other businesses.

Snapchat the company, which was recently valued at $10 billion, was among several Internet businesses that wrote letters to the City Council in October in support of renewing this tax break.

Millman acknowledged that boosterism was partially the impetus for joining Snapchat, saying “we always want to promote Los Angeles companies and our thriving tech scene, which is the fastest growing in the U.S.”

While Snapchat is being run by staffers, Garcetti himself is an avid user of Instagram, where he frequently showcases his personal photography. He also runs a relatively active Twitter feed.

Garcetti’s office would not be the first mayoral office to join Snapchat. They were beat to the punch by Sandy Stimpson, the mayor of Mobile, Alabama, according to media reports from earlier this month.

 

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