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India Snaps Up Snapchat Craze

Snapchat has made a significant mark in India, with its parent company, Snap Inc., recently announcing that the platform has crossed the 200 million monthly active users milestone in the country.

Photo by Alexander Shatov / Unsplash

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Remember Snapchat? The disappearing photo app that seemed to be all the rage a few years back? Well, guess what?

As of right now, over 800 million people around the world use Snapchat monthly!

That's a massive audience, but in India, it's hotter than ever!

With over 200 million monthly active users, India has become Snapchat's biggest market.

So, what's the secret sauce behind Snapchat's Indian success? Buckle up, because we're about to unpack the reasons why youth in India is snapping away like nobody's business.

Let's rewind a bit. 

Snapchat wasn't always the king of Indian social media

Back in 2017, a former employee alleged that Snapchat's CEO, Evan Spiegel, didn't want to expand into "poor countries like India and Spain." While Spiegel denied the claim, the company's resistance to update its Android app, the dominant mobile OS in India, seemed to support that stance.

However, things took a dramatic turn in 2019 when Snapchat finally optimized its Android experience. And since then, it's been a rollercoaster ride for the platform in the Indian market.

One of the pivotal moments was the Indian government's decision to ban TikTok in 2020. As millions of users sought new platforms, Snapchat stepped up and welcomed the influx of content creators and consumers with open arms.

But Snapchat's success in India isn't just about filling a void. It's about tapping into the country's cultural fabric and embracing the diverse and vibrant expressions of its users.

Snapchat users are exclusive to the platform where 78% ditch Twitter, 55% ditch Facebook, and 17% gives Instagram a miss.

This unique social media landscape makes Snapchat a prime target for Gen Z marketing campaigns.

It has a 90% reach among 13-24 year olds! That's almost everyone in that age group in over 25 countries.

And in a country like India, with a population of around 248 million in the 15-24 age bracket, that's an astronomical number of young users.

It doesn't stop there – 75% of 13-34 year olds are also active Snapchatters! This also tells us one thing loud and clear: Snapchat is a Gen Z and millennial magnet.


Now, let's talk about engagement. On average, 414 million people use Snapchat every single day. That's a dedicated user base coming back for more snaps, stories, and AR fun. But that's not all, folks. 

Did you know that over 300 millions of these Snap Addicts engage with augmented reality (AR) on the app every day? That's right, they're morphing into puppies, rocking unicorn horns, and basically living in a filter-filled fantasy world. #NoFilter? Not on Snapchat! 

Indian Snapchat users are obsessed with AR filters, playing with them a whopping 50 billion times a month!

This passion for AR expression explodes during festivals, a staggering 85% of users turn to these fun filters to visually express themselves in unique and hilarious ways.

Since the last quarter of 2022, the time spent watching Spotlight content has increased by a whopping 175%!  

And the number of Snapchatters engaging with Spotlight every month has also jumped by over 35%.

It's clear that Snapchat is giving TikTok a run for its money in the short video space.

Over 120 million young Indians tune in to watch content on Snapchat every month.  

And Spotlight, the platform for user-created content, has seen Indian users spending three times more time since it launched!

Why the Hype? 

●  Remember those teenage anxieties about posting something online that comes back to haunt you later? Snapchat solves that problem with its disappearing messages. Teens can share secrets, vent frustrations, or simply have fun conversations knowing their snaps vanish after a set amount of time. It's a safe space for authentic self-expression and fleeting connections, perfect for navigating the often-dramatic world of adolescence.

● Simple – Snapchat's AR filters are a guaranteed good time! From turning yourself into a grumpy cat to rocking a fiery crown or becoming a goofy potato, the options are endless. It's a perfect way to embrace silliness, break the ice with friends, and capture truly unforgettable moments together.

●  Snapchat supports 140+ languages globally, making it a true global phenomenon. Notably, it supports a total of nine Indian languages, catering to the diverse linguistic landscape of the country.

●   Addictive "Snap Streaks" – those little fire emojis next to friends' names that represent how many days in a row you've snapped each other. These streaks create a playful sense of competition and a constant reminder to connect with your friends, keeping Snapchat at the forefront of your mind.

So, there you have it! The reasons why Snapchat is experiencing a renaissance with young Indian users. It's a combination of privacy, humour, creativity, and a sense of community – the perfect recipe for social media success in the age of Gen Z.

When it comes to monetization, Snapchat's strategy in India will likely differ significantly from other markets. While rival platforms like Instagram have capitalised on a large user base to fuel creator earnings, India presents a unique challenge with a lower ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).

Even with a lower ARPU of just $1 per quarter, that translates to a potential $4 billion in revenue, which matches Snapchat's current global earnings. This vast potential, coupled with a dedicated user base, could turn India into a massive market for Snapchat in the future. 

For brands targeting the 13-24 age group, Snapchat may be the platform they can't miss, given its unique positioning and unparalleled reach among this demographic in India.

(Stay tuned, where we'll discuss the future of Snapchat in India and how it plans to monetize its massive user base!)