Impressed with India’s recent growth, Snapchat’s parent Snap Inc is looking to invest more in the social media platform to enhance its capabilities specifically for the country.
In an earnings call with analysts last week, Snap’s chief executive Evan Spiegel said India is definitely a market where Snapchat is about to invest a lot. “One of the things that we’ve seen really work well there has been releasing custom and culturally relevant augmented reality experiences and increasingly more content,” he said.
Spiegel believes that fluency with visual communication is exciting for the Indian market and it will help the social media platform to grow in the future. However, Spiegel didn’t disclose any details on how Snap would be investing in India.
Snapchat’s Indian Bet
In the last few years, Snap has increased its focus on the Indian market. In August last year, Snap opened an office in Mumbai after witnessing a 40% increase in daily active users in the second quarter of 2019. The local team is now working on strengthening strategic partnerships, servicing local advertisers while building a community of creators and users.
Meanwhile, Snapchat launched its revamped mobile application which was specially designed for India and other markets in April 2019. Last year, Snapchat also added support for more vernaculars including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Punjabi.
In 2018, Snapchat had partnered with 10 Indian media brands to add more local content in the Discovery section of the mobile application. According to market research firm Statista, India is the second-largest market for Snapchat after the US with 28.2 Mn users as of April 2020.
Snapchat competes against Bytedance-owned TikTok and Facebook’s Instagram in the Indian market. Statista data suggests that TikTok (200 Mn) and Instagram (88 Mn) have much more users than Snapchat in India.
People Flock To Snapchat Amid Lockdown
In the wake of the global lockdown, Snapchat reported a spike in usage globally. Spiegel said Snapchat witnessed a 20% growth in the user base in the financial year 2020 (FY20) as compared to FY19.
Spiegel said that the increase has been noted in group-related activities across chat, calling and games. “Communication with friends increased by over 30% in the last week of March compared to the last week of January, with more than a 50% increase in some of our larger markets,” Spiegel was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.
Meanwhile, the total time spent watching Discover content spiked to more than 35% in FY20 as compared to FY19. Around 4 Bn ‘Snaps’ were created by users globally each day. People also used Snapchat’s augmented reality (AR) feature more. Snapchat reported that around 75% of the users were using this feature almost daily.