Snapchat makes a quiet comeback in India


Snapchat recorded 102.4 million downloads from the Google Play Store in India between January and August, according to web analytics service provider Similarweb. During the period, Instagram recorded 230 million downloads to Android devices in India. A digital media agency director notes that Snapchat only had 7 million monthly active users, or MAU, in India as of June 2019. Industry estimates indicate that MAUs have grown seven-fold since then. .

Gen Z and Millennials are once again using Snap Inc.’s flagship app for its higher-quality augmented reality (AR) filters to create videos, or because they find Instagram too ‘addictive’ or “Inciting anxiety”. An industry insider told Mint that many movie industry celebrities are returning to Snapchat under aliases to interact with their friends because Instagram is “too public.”

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Small, but growing

Companies like Nykaa, Spotify, Netflix and Myntra have increased their ad spend on the platform, according to influencer marketing agencies. “Snapchat marketing is a smart investment for brands. Although the platform is less talked about in campaign strategy meetings, it occupies a unique place in the market, thanks to its AR filters, games and custom stories from the creators, ”says Prince Khanna, co-founder from influencer marketing firm Eleve Media. .

Snapchat is still a third the size of Instagram in India in terms of daily and monthly active users (DAU and MAU) on Android phones, but data shows it has grown steadily and is performing better. than some of the more lively local TikTok alternatives like MX TakaTak and Josh on both settings.

Between January and August 2021, Snapchat fetched an average of 24.7 million DAU from the Google Play Store, compared to 5.9 million for MX TakaTak and 2.5 million for Josh, according to Similarweb. It also recorded around 59 million MAU, compared to 24.8 million for MX TakaTak and 13 million for Josh, a platform for sharing short videos from the creators of the DailyHunt news aggregator app, according to data from Similarweb. MX TakaTak, however, told Mint that he has 150 million MAU on all devices.

Digital marketers argue that it may not be entirely accurate to compare Snapchat with TikTok’s clones, as the former is a platform for user-generated content, while the others are led. by influencers and content creators. That said, they are ultimately short video sharing social media platforms vying for the limited digital marketing budget of advertisers.

“Snapchat has seen 100% (year-over-year) growth in the number of Daily Active Users (DAUs) in each of the last five quarters, which is a good indication to take a look at the platform,” said said Amyn Ghadiali, vice president – business and strategy at digital agency Gozoop. This has sparked the interest of advertisers, especially for her AR marketing campaigns targeting a younger audience in the 13-24 age range. years.

“In 2019, 80% of our AR business was from Instagram and around 10% from Snapchat,” says Hardik Shah, COO at Superfan Studio, specializing in AR experiences. “Today it’s 60% Snapchat and 40% Instagram.”

In a recent Instagram video tackling toxic relationships in his inimitable style, popular content creator Danish Sait plays a character who threatens to jump in front of a train unless his partner forgives him for lying about smoking. “I used a Snapchat filter, sorry baby,” he finally says, and the video ends. One in five comments on this post, seen by half a million users and liked by 150,000, harp on the “Snapchat Filter” mention, indicating how common it is for people to create videos for platforms like Instagram using Snapchat’s AR filters.

It was recently announced that Snapchat Lenses, the AR filters people use to create videos and post on other platforms like Instagram, will be integrated into the cameras of JioPhone Next, a collaborative smartphone project between Reliance Industries and Google. Moj, a ShareChat short video app with over 100 million installs, already integrates Snapchat Lenses into its camera function. Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., had rebranded itself as a camera company prior to its IPO in 2017. The success of its AR capabilities is said to have contributed significantly to its global comeback, with the company recording a single figure. record business of $ 911 million in Q4 of 2020, then surpassed it with $ 982 million in Q2 of 2021.

Despite this, Snapchat is not yet a “necessary media” platform. [in India], says Ghadiali of Gozoop. It has increased, but so less savvy marketers still prefer Instagram’s reach.

Snapchat remains a favorite with users and marketers for its features. Superfan Studio’s Shah says he finds value in the app’s Map feature that lets you watch snapshots of users around the world, without revealing the user’s identity, a feature that no other short video sharing platform currently has.

“If someone asked me to delete an account, I would have to use Instagram because I have too many photos on Snapchat,” said Tanvi Chauhan, 16, a science student from Calcutta. Chauhan had downloaded Instagram for a week in 2018, but deleted the app after realizing “how addicting it was.” She reinstalled Instagram for Reels last year when TikTok was banned in India.

Saransh Arora, 24, spends more time on Instagram than Snapchat, but thinks “Instagram is sometimes too hard to digest with posts, stories, reels, live and IGTV in one place.” Snapchat just sent photos, he says. Arora, a business development professional at a creative agency, admits having had 1,000-day streaks (of consecutive snap-sharing) with some of her friends.

“Snapchat is like a home to me while Instagram is like a club,” says Srishti Millicent, 27, digital marketer from Chandigarh. “I’d rather Snapchat keep in touch with a loved one,” she says.

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