Snap Plays Up Augmented Reality in Latin America, Asia Expansion


Snap is accelerating its global expansion in countries from Mexico to Japan through alliances with wireless carriers and highlighting its popular augmented reality features, the company told Reuters. The parent company of the Snapchat photo messaging app is leaning on its relative security during a period when social media platforms like Meta’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok are being scrutinized around the world over harmful content, loose privacy and cybersecurity protections. This has led to an outright ban on services in some countries.

crack Largely unheard of by governments and regulators around the world and attracting users into new markets it has developed a playbook that plays up the appeal of its light-weight AR (Augmented Reality) lenses, which are more visible in the physical world. Can overlay computerized images on top of . , and momentary messages between close friends.

Since rebuilding its Android app in mid-2019, which made Snapchat more useful for people outside the United States and Europe, where Android is more widely used than iPhone devices, the company has reached a milestone of 100 million monthly users in India.

Globally, Snap has 500 million monthly users, the company said during its Partner Summit in May, with about 40 percent of its users outside North America and Europe.

It is now looking to deepen its India presence and attract new users globally with Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Spain, a strategy that has yet to be reported.

Snap’s head of international markets Nana Murugesan said the move reflects how the majority of Snapchat users are now on Android following the rollout of the improved app, while it was previously one of the few apps mostly used on Apple devices. Was.

“We’ve seen the fruits of that game because Android is really driving our development,” he said.

Snap’s strategy includes tying up with telecom carriers and smartphone makers to preinstall Snapchat. The company said it is currently in talks to explore deals such as including the app in joint marketing or zero-rating plans in Mexico, Brazil, Italy and Spain without counting against mobile data limits to customers. Allows access to the app. , and there was a device that super-charged of facebook Early expansion into areas where wireless data was expensive.

Snap is opening new offices in Tokyo, Milan and Madrid this year to help support growth plans, the company said.

The expansion plan includes hosting workshops with high school and college students to promote the app with younger users, adding media content in local languages ​​to its Discover feature on Snapchat, featuring original shows from entertainment studios, and photo and Including rolling out video AR filters. Celebrate local holidays and events.

With its focus on AR, Snap has positioned itself in recent years as an app for keeping in touch with a close group, and one where public content is screened by the company, such as the one from the app. Difference TIC Toc, where content creators aim to go viral.

Shailesh Rao, a former Google and Twitter executive who worked on international expansion, said the image could help Snap enter markets in Asia more easily, where families are mindful of the impact on their children.

“There’s a premium on security, and there’s a premium on knowing that your privacy is protected,” he said.

Fascinating Opportunities in Japan

Arvind Rajan, former managing director of new markets, said it may be difficult to achieve meaningful returns in these new markets. linkedin, who developed the professional networking site’s entry into China in 2014.

While it is easier to attract new users to India, given the large young population, US tech companies have struggled to make money in the country, he said.

In India, Snap Trails meta key Facebook and instagramThey have 388 million and 257 million monthly active users, respectively, according to app analytics firm App Annie. Viral short-form video app TikTok has been banned in India since 2020 over data privacy and security concerns.

Gaining users specifically in Japan, Brazil, Italy and Spain will be key to laying the groundwork for Snap to grow its international revenue. Four countries are among the top 10 online advertising markets worldwide, and the total amount spent on online advertising in those markets stood at $33 billion (about Rs 2,45,490 crore) in 2020, according to an August report by research firm MoffettNathanson. is according to.

The Santa Monica, California-based company that generates revenue by selling ads on Snapchat still makes most of its money in North America. Its revenue from outside North America and Europe totaled $127 million (approximately Rs 945 crore) during the third quarter, a 53 percent increase over the prior year.

Japan represents a lucrative opportunity, and Snap sees its AR features as the way forward. In August, the company hired its first employee in Japan to lead market development in the country.

Murugesan said there is a well-established AR developer community in Japan, and Snap is looking to attract users as it makes advances in AR technology such as its eyeglasses glasses, Murugesan said, adding that the company is a company in Japan to make AR. Animation is in discussions to partner with the studio. Lens.

According to a job posting on Snap’s website, the company is also hiring for a relationship and awareness-raising role with augmented reality developers in Japan.

“If you can understand the user growth story (in Japan), you’ll make a lot of money,” Rajan said.

© Thomson Reuters 2022