Spiegel attributed this growth to the company’s investment in localization and improving the performance of its app to make the service more accessible to consumers across the world.
Snapchat had debuted a re-engineered Android app designed for India and other emerging markets in April last year, along with a localised version of its content discovery platform Discover in November 2018. Over the past year, the app has also added support for nine Indian languages including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, and Punjabi among others.
“We see a significant opportunity to continue to grow our community as we further invest in localization of our product through language support, local content, and marketing partnerships across a variety of geographies,” said chief financial officer Derek Andersen during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday.
To aid this growth, Snap is engaging with creators in the country through various initiatives, including conducting workshops to help them take advantage of new technologies like augmented reality to build more culturally relevant experiences for its users in India.
Snapchat parent Snap Inc also debuted its augmented reality glasses Spectacles 2 and Spectacles 3 in the India market earlier this month and is currently available on e-commerce marketplace Flipkart.
India is the second-largest market for the ephemeral messaging app after the United States with 28.2 million users as of April 2020, according to market research firm Statista. The company doesn’t provide a country-wise breakdown of its member base.
Global user base growth
Overall, Snapchat added 9 million daily active users during the quarter, taking its global base to 238 million in Q2 2020. Snap Inc said that users opened the application over 30 times on a daily basis during the quarter.
“As the changing public health landscape accelerates the adoption of digital products, we believe there is a large opportunity for us to further empower new behaviours with AR, entertainment, and commerce,” Spiegel said.
The messaging service which competes with players like Facebook-owned Instagram, benefitted from a usage bump as people stayed indoors due to the lockdown curbs, although the growth was below its earlier estimates of 239 million users.
“At the onset of widespread shelter-in-place orders, we observed an increase in daily active users that informed our initial estimate. This initial lift dissipated faster than we anticipated as shelter-in-place conditions persisted,” Andersen said.
Revenue rose 17% year-on-year to $454 million while net loss widened to $326 million for the quarter, from $255 million during the same period last year. Andersen, however, noted that the operating environment remains challenging due to the impact of Covid-19 on macroeconomic conditions, and businesses of its advertising clients.
“Many advertisers paused spending for periods of time during the quarter in order to swap out their ad creative for messaging that was more appropriate for the given moment. They have also seen interruptions in their businesses, especially those that rely on in-person interaction with their customers such as restaurants, entertainment venues, transportation services, physical retailers, and hospitality providers among others,” Andersen said.
Asked about the US government’s scrutiny of TikTok and its possible impact on the social media landscape, Spiegel said “it’s been really fascinating” to see the government “grapple with the huge success to a consumer tech company headquartered in China”.
“I think that really brings us to more of a free markets question, as these businesses are able to leverage the massive billion-plus consumer base and obviously the second-largest economy in the world is China and leverage their success there to enter the United States market, which is a smaller market in terms of people,” Speigel said. “I’m not totally sure what the path looks like from here, but you’re right to note that the ecosystem has shifted a little bit with the success of consumer technologies from China.”