Snapchat has passed the 100 million user milestone in India on a monthly basis, Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel announced Wednesday at the Snap for India 2021 virtual event. California, also revealed its local partnerships at the second edition of its India-centric event to further develop the social media camera app that aims to attract users through augmented reality (AR) filters. It also claimed to have increased its new net advertisers by 70% in 2020 and introduced new monetization streams for users creating content on Snapchat.
Among its new partners, Snap announced that it is working with Flipkart to develop AR experiences for e-commerce. The company is deploying its Camera Kit, which is essentially an end-to-end solution for third-party developers, within Flipkart’s Camera Storefront to enable online customers to purchase new products by virtually experiencing them at home.
Snap also announced its partnership with Zomato as another major partnership in India. It aims to help users access restaurant information and be able to place food orders directly from their personal card on the Snapchat app.
Additionally, Snap offers virtual trials for Snapchat users by bringing Mumbai-based online cosmetics company Sugar Cosmetics and beauty brand MyGlamm into its AR buying beta program.
“We have made significant investments to localize the Snapchat experience for the Indian community. We have added culturally relevant content, developed very active and creative local designer communities, and invested in local products, marketing initiatives and language support, ”Spiegel said in a prepared statement.
Along with local partnerships, Snap is working with various Android original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to expand Snapchat.
Nana Murugesan, managing director of international markets at Snap, told Gadgets 360 in a virtual interview that the company’s OEM strategy has two distinct parts. “One is what we call the OEM strategy on Snapchat and the other is the OEM strategy outside of Snapchat,” he said.
Using the Snapchat strategy, Snap increases the distribution of the app. The company said that there are over 100 million devices in India that have the Snapchat app preinstalled.
However, Snap is also trying to go deeper into the country using its non-Snapchat OEM strategy that aims to deliver the augmented reality experiences that the app natively offers, but without requiring its full existence.
Samsung was one of the first smartphone makers to roll out Snapchat’s augmented reality experiences in its native camera app. Nonetheless, Snap extends this experience with the upcoming JioPhone Next.
“If you look at a JioPhone Next through our partnership with Google, when you open a JioPhone Next and open the camera, Snapchat isn’t even there, but when you open a JioPhone Next camera, Snapchat lenses are going to be inside the camera, like the native camera integration of our Snapchat lenses, ”Murugesan told Gadgets 360.
Along with augmented reality, Snap is also gaining the attention of users in India for its unique emoji experiences through the dedicated app called Bitmoji. The company claimed that India is the second largest and fastest growing market for the Bitmoji app. However, he did not provide any exact figure to substantiate the claim.
Snap also claimed that its community in the country is growing, with 300 Snap Stars since 2020. Snap Stars are notably Snapchat users who are verified by the company at its discretion.
Users chosen as Snap Stars in India now have access to a feature called “Gifting” whereby they will be able to monetize their content by receiving “Gifts” from their fans through Story Replies. This will be in addition to the Creator Marketplace that Snap launched earlier this year and will soon be rolled out to Snap Stars in India, where brands will connect directly with active creators to pay them for the production of branded content.
Last year, Snapchat introduced a feature called Spotlight that allows users to share short video content, just like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. This feature entered India in March of this year, and since its launch, the company has claimed that the daily Spotlight story viewing time has quadrupled.
So far, Snap has also created AR lenses for 75 local festivals and has brought over 350 hyperlocal geofilters to various Indian cities. In August, he also brought his AR Landmarker feature to the India Gate in New Delhi – having brought that experience to the Taj Mahal in Agra and the India Gate in Mumbai. In addition, the company has reportedly held Lens Studio workshops to teach AR to more than 5,000 students nationwide.
More room to grow
Over the past few years, Snap has started to view India as one of its top potential markets. The company established its local office in Mumbai in 2019 and has since extended language support and localization efforts for the Snapchat app. However, a large number of local content creators have yet to join the list of active Snapchatters.
“We believe that we still have a lot of leeway in India. And I think that’s just the start. As we welcome more and more friends and family to the platform, people bring them in, and people communicate and celebrate visually, we are very, very optimistic about our momentum for the future, ”said Murugesan of Snap.
Snapchat has seen more than 66% reach growth in India just months after surpassing the previous milestone of 60 million consumers in Q4 2020. But the 100 million reach is still far from the more than 180 million. users available on Facebook. Instagram in the country, according to data available on Statista.
As to whether India is a profitable market for Snap, Murugesan told Gadgets 360 that the company is currently in the second stage of developing the market, which is hyper-growing. However, he did not explicitly confirm the profitability part.
“At this point, the focus is on growth and engagement, relevance, like ensuring that we truly become a platform of choice when it comes to augmented reality, authentic human connections and communication, and really focusing on that and making sure that we are able to drive that hyper growth and we really focus on that, like the hyper focus on hyper growth, as I call it. So that’s the goal we have in India, ”he said.