Evan Spiegel, chief executive of American tech giant Snap Inc., which owns multimedia messaging app Snapchat, during the earnings call on Wednesday, told analysts the company’s daily active users (DAU) in India more than doubled in the second quarter ended June.
However, Spiegel did not disclose Snapchat’s user numbers for the South Asian nation.
Globally, Snapchat’s user base grew 17% year-on-year, reaching 238 million DAU in the quarter, the company said. It said the 35 million DAU that it added in Q2 was among its highest year-on-year growth since 2017.
In its home country, Snapchat is used by more than 100 million people. Snap’s revenue for the quarter stood at USD 454 million, an increase of 17% year-on-year. While the company doesn’t provide a country-wise breakup of its user base, India is the second-largest market for the messaging app after the United States with 28.2 million users as of April 2020, local media Economic Times (ET) said, citing research firm Statista.
The growth follows the company’s sharpened focus on the world’s second-most populous country as well as increased investment in localizing the app and its content.
In August last year, the social media firm opened its first India office in Mumbai with plans to build a local team in the country that would forge strategic partnerships, service local advertisers, and build a community of creators and users.
Last year in April, the company rolled out a new avatar of its Android app, designed specifically for India and other emerging markets. In November 2018, it had launched a localized version of its content discovery platform ‘Discover’ in partnership with more than 10 media brands in the country. The app currently supports nine Indian languages including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, and Punjabi, among others.
“We are also continuing to invest in app performance and localization to make our service more accessible to people all over the world, with Snapchat now available to over 2 billion people in their native language,” said Spiegel. “These efforts have helped us grow even faster in emerging markets like India, where we’ve seen over 100% growth in daily active users over the past year.”
Back in 2015, Spiegel had reportedly said, “this app is only for rich people,” adding, “I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.” However, three years down the line, as India emerged as the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market and saw the data become accessible and affordable, the global consumer internet and tech companies doubled down their efforts to capture the growing online user base. Snap also began changing its stance on emerging markets in the second half of 2018.
The India growth in Q2 also comes on the back of the nationwide lockdown the government had imposed during April and May, which had forced millions of millennials and Gen Z to stay grounded. Thus many entertainment, streaming, and social media companies saw their user numbers as well as the engagement on the app go up.
Derek Andersen, chief financial officer at Snap said the company sees “a significant opportunity to continue to grow” the community as it further invests in localizing the product through language support, local content, and marketing partnerships across a variety of geographies.
The company has been engaging with the community of creators in the country through various initiatives, according to the ET report. It includes conducting workshops to help creators take advantage of new technologies like augmented reality to build more culturally relevant experiences for its users in India. Earlier this month, Snap also debuted its augmented reality glasses Spectacles 2 and Spectacles 3 in the India market earlier through Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart.