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Breaking: Mayor Eric Garcetti Has Joined Snapchat [UPDATE]

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Eric Garcetti with the Snapchat ghost (Facebook)
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Eric Garcetti plays the piano (Snapchat)
We still kind of think of Snapchat as something for tweens and dick pics and cat owners who need yet another platform to show off their felines. But the disappearing messaging service that was once offered $3 billion and is now valued at $10 billion is being used in increasingly slick, grown-up ways.We're sure there are plenty of politicians using Snapchat in all sorts of unsavory ways we'd rather not think about, but more and more they're using it on the up-and-up to reach out to their constituency. Sen. Rand Paul is on Snapchat, Mobile's mayor has an account and this week Garcetti announced that his office would be using the service. That's no surprise for the tech-savvy politician we once called the most Instagrammable mayor.

We added "LAMayorsOffice" as a friend and sent him a Snapchat asking whether he planned to respond to any chat. (We'll let you know if we hear back. Update: see below) He says on Facebook, "Follow LAMayorsOffice for sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes snaps of City Hall at work." The first video on his timeline shows him jamming on a piano with a TGIF graphic. Classic Garcetti.

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Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman told City News Service it was the mayor's idea to join Snapchat. The mayor was looking for a new way to "have a conversation with Angelenos," outside of office hours, town hall meetings and neighborhood walks.

And hey, it doesn't hurt that Snapchat is a local business (though CNS points out that since it's an "Internet-based business" it gets a tax break so it pays only $1.01 on every $1,000 in gross receipts to Los Angeles compared to $5.07 that is paid by other kinds of businesses).

Update [Feb. 14]: In response to our inquiry on Snapchat, the mayor (or an intern) sent us this reply on Snapchat. I think this means he likes us?

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Mayor Eric Garcetti's response to LAist on Snapchat (via Emma Gallegos/LAist)