According to a report published by Reuters, the social media company Snap Inc is accelerating its global expansion in nations – ranging from Mexico to Japan, by partnering with wireless carriers and promoting its famous augmented reality capabilities.
The parent company of the Snapchat photo messaging app is banking on the app’s relative safety at a time when social media platforms like Meta’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok are being scrutinized around the world for harmful content, lax privacy, and cybersecurity protections, and outright bans in some countries.
Snap has largely escaped the attention of governments and authorities around the world, and it has evolved a strategy for attracting users in new markets that emphasizes the fun of its AR (augmented reality) lenses, which can overlay computerized images on top of the physical world, and ephemeral messaging between close friends.
Snapchat has surpassed a milestone of 100 million monthly users in India since redesigning its Android app in mid-2019, which made it more useable for those outside of the United States and Europe, where Android is more extensively used than iPhones.
Snap has 500 million monthly users worldwide, according to the company’s Partner Summit in May, with around 40% of its users residing outside of North America and Europe.
It now intends to expand its presence in India and recruit new users from around the world, starting with Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and Spain, according to an unreleased strategy.
According to Nana Murugesan, Snap’s president of international markets, the decision reflects how the bulk of Snapchat’s users is now on Android following the release of the updated software, whereas earlier it was one of the few apps that were predominantly used on Apple devices.
“We’ve seen the fruits of that play out as Android is really driving our growth,” he said.
The business strategy of Snap comprises pre-installing Snapchat with telecom operators and smartphone manufacturers. The firm said it is in talks with carriers in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and Spain about joint marketing and including the app in zero-rating plans, which allow customers to use an app without it counting against their mobile data limits. This was a strategy that boosted Facebook’s early expansion in areas where wireless data was expensive.
Snap will also open additional offices in Tokyo, Milan, and Madrid this year to assist its expansion objectives, according to the business.
Workshops with students from high schools and colleges will be held to publicise the app and make it appealing to young users, as well as the addition of media content in local languages to Snapchat’s Discover feature, which has original content from entertainment studios, and the rollout of photo and video AR filters that celebrate local holidays and events.
Along with its focus on AR, Snap has positioned itself in recent years as an app for keeping in touch with a small group of people, as well as one where public content is reviewed by the firm, as opposed to applications like TikTok, where content creators strive to go viral.
According to Shailesh Rao, a senior executive at Google and Twitter who focused on international development, Snap’s image could help it achieve easier access into countries in Asia, where families are wary of outside influences on their children.
“There is a premium on safety, and there is a premium on knowing your privacy is protected,” he said.
(Adapted from CommunicationsToday.co.in)