Snap Inc said on October 27 that it has reached a milestone of 100 million monthly active Snapchat users in India, which has emerged as a key market for the company's international localisation strategy.
“We have made significant investments to localize the Snapchat experience for the Indian community. We have added culturally relevant content, developed highly active and creative local creator communities, and invested in local products, marketing initiatives, and language support,” said Snap Inc cofounder Evan Spiegel.
Spiegel said they will continue to anchor their efforts around celebrating local culture and talent, while empowering, growing, and providing resources to their community of Indian creators.
Globally, the ephemeral photo-sharing app has more than 500 million monthly active users. On October 21, Snap Inc said it clocked about 306 million daily active users across the world in Q3 2021, up 23% year-over-year.
Focus on India
Snapchat has doubled down on the India market after witnessing a major growth in its user base in recent quarters. In May this year, Spiegel had said that they have witnessed over 100 percent year-over-year growth in daily active users (DAUs) in each of the last five quarters. Snapchat had said in February that its user base has crossed the 60 million users in the country in the fourth quarter of 2020.
During the company's first-ever investor day in February this year, Snapchat Chief Financial Officer Derek Andersen had announced plans to extend its India localisation playbook to grow its base in several other countries.
"We focused on India early because it has a large and fast-growing population of young smartphone users, high-speed mobile networks are expanding quickly, and GDP per capita is growing rapidly," Snap Inc CFO had said at the investor day. He also noted that the app's daily active users in India have more than doubled year over year in each of the last four quarters.
To further accelerate its growth in the country, the company has struck deals with a range of firms including e-commerce firms Flipkart, digital consumer brands Sugar Cosmetics and MyGlamm, food delivery service Zomato, Android OEMs and television channels such as Sony Entertainment Television and Zee TV.
Flipkart will be Snap Inc's first e-commerce partnership in the country, as part of which Snap's Camera Kit will be an integral part of the e-commerce firm's "Camera Storefront”, enabling shoppers to start their shopping and e-commerce engagement journey. Meanwhile, Snap Maps has signed its first partnership in India with Zomato, following which Snapchat users will have access to restaurant information and be able to place food orders right from their personal Map on Snapchat.
Sugar Cosmetics and MyGlamm have also adopted Snap’s augmented reality (AR) shopping beta program to offer virtual beauty and makeup try-on experiences to consumers. Samsung Mobile has launched a new “Fun Mode” feature to bring some of Snap’s AR-powered Lenses to their native camera app that will also be available on their “Made in India” M Series smartphones.
“Augmented reality is at the core of Snapchat’s offerings in India. We have worked towards empowering students and youth with essential AR Skills through workshops and lensathons,” said Snap Inc cofounder Bobby Murphy “We aim to partner with more local creators in India to grow the number of incredible experiences available to Snapchatters. At Snap, our intent is to make AR more accessible, useful and practical than ever before.”
Snap Inc said it has conducted Lens Studio workshops to teach augmented reality to over 5,000 students from different schools and colleges across India including IIT Mumbai & SIES (Mumbai), NIFT (Hyderabad), Pearl Academy (Delhi), Krishna Public School (Raipur), Punjab Engineering College, and Christ University (Bengaluru).
The company is also launching a new programme called Yellow Tree Bootcamp for early-stage founders in India, that will bring together experts from Snap Inc and the Indian startup community to discuss topics such as fundraising, operations, and growth as well as leveraging its tools such as Snap Kit and Snapchat Ads Manager to grow its business.
In another India-first initiative, Snapchat has struck distribution partnerships with Android device makers with a total install base of over 100 million devices in the country.
The company said that India is also the second largest and fastest growing market for its personalized emoji app Bitmoji, as its library is constantly evolving with new localized content in the country. Short video app Josh has started enabling users to use Bitmojis as their profile pictures and in the comments section as well as add Bitmoji stickers to their videos.
Select OnePlus devices including the OnePlus 9R, also includes a Bitmoji “always-on display” feature that shows the user’s personal Bitmoji avatar on the ambient display, the company said.
Original content slate
Snap Inc is also doubling down on its slate of original programming in India, by commissioning over 120 episodes of new content for 2022. It plans to launch exclusive shows from creators such as Shehnaaz Gill, Avneet Kaur, Harsh Beniwal and Sushant Divgikar.
Over the past year, the company has released a slate of made-for-mobile creator shows, including 'What’s On My Plate' featuring Anushka Sen and Vir Das and 'The Most Epic Max Show', which has been seen by a combined 16 million viewers.
Apart from this, Snap had launched a localized Hinglish version of one of its original shows 'Phone Swap' that has been watched by 16 million Snapchat users since its launch, Snap Inc said in a statement. It plans to release two more seasons of this show.
Over 125 million unique viewers have watched a show on Snapchat in India, while the total time spent by users watching shows and publishers content on a daily basis has increased by 150% year-over-year in Q2 2021.
Snapchat's content discovery platform Discover has 70 local channels across news, fitness, fashion, entertainment and comedy. In addition, Snap Inc has partnered with Sony Entertainment Television and Zee TV to offer curated content on the platform.
Snap Inc has also partnered with social game maker Mojiworks to launch a India-themed trivia game called Trivia Party. Moonfrog Labs, which had built a custom version of 'Ludo Club' for Snap Games earlier this year, is also introducing a Carrom game on the platform.
In terms of monetisation, the company said it has been expanding its monetisation capabilities to cater to businesses of all sizes and its current measurement tools helps advertisers track key metrics right from conversions to purchases and sign-ups.
Snap Inc said its base of new advertisers had increased by 70% in 2020, attracting firms from various sectors including FMCG, e-commerce, entertainment, video streaming, mobile wallets and technology device makers. This includes the likes of ITC Yippee Noodles, Intel Evo, LG, OnePlus, Spotify, and Swiggy among others.