Snapchat, on a cursory observation, would seem to be not all that big in India, especially in comparison to the other social media platforms. But apparently, the photo messaging app seems to be growing big in the country.
According to Snap Inc Managing Director (International Markets) Nana Murugesan the company has seen a year-on-year user growth of 120 percent in its daily active user base (DAU) in India.
"We have seen significant user growth in India with a 120 percent increase of our daily active users, comparing March last year to March this year. We have added new functions to the India team in our Mumbai office, with our first employees hired in the strategy and partnership team, sales and creative strategy team, as well as currently recruiting for our content team," Murugesan was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI.
Though the specific number of users in India was not available, Snapchat reportedly has 229 million daily active users at the end of March 2020 quarter world over, an increase of 39 million or 20 per cent year-over-year.
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Snapchat has been expanding its team in India, which is focussing on developing culturally relevant products, community engagement, and partnership, said Snap Inc Managing Director.#snapchat👻 #MarketingMind pic.twitter.com/XRPGTZHUOqMay 25, 2020
The app is primarily aimed at young, fun-loving users, and allows them to share pics for a specific time period after which the content disappears. It offers filters and lenses, many of which are augmented reality-enabled. More than an average of 4 billion Snaps were created by its users in March 2020 quarter.
Even while Snapchat is said to be growing, the company seems to be aware that as a platform that there is a ring of scepticism in India about it and its usage.
That is why Murugesan was quoted as saying: "Our team in India continues to focus on culturally relevant product developments, creative tools, community engagement, and partnerships."
But the platform is trying to get aggressive in India. Over the past six months, it has launched support in five more languages, introduced creative tools to celebrate cultural moments and festivals, onboarded celebrities such as Taapsee Pannu as a Snap Star, added more Official Lens Creators and partnered with local media brands, advertisers, OEMs, and Telcos.
But augmented reality remains at the core of Snapchat's initiatives in India. On an average, over 75% of Snap’s daily active users engage with augmented reality every day.
Turning the lens on Lens Studio
To this end, it has been hosting Lensathon (opens in new tab), its online hackathon in partnership with Skillenza, where participants create eye-catching lenses and AR experiences using Lens Studio by Snap.
They will stand a chance to be a part of the Official Lens Creator programme along with other cash prizes, Snap Spectacles etc.
Last year, the company hosted 11 Lens Studio workshops in colleges and universities in India. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, these sessions are being hosted virtually with the Pearl Academy, ISDI, Symbiosis Pune, Thapar Institute of Technology, Manipal Institute of Technology, SRM Institute, and Deviprasad Goenka Management College Of Media Studies.
On an average, Lenses made by the community via Lens Studio make up over 30% of the total Snaps sent every day with a Lens.
"We're especially excited to be hosting our first Lensathon in partnership with Skillenza to reach over five lakh developers in India. We see this as a big step forward in democratising creativity, building the future of AR alongside our community, and making available even more compelling, relevant experiences for Snapchatters," Murugesan said.
Since the launch of Lens Studio in 2017, Snap has seen over 900,000 lenses created by the global community.