New Delhi: Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, has revealed astonishing growth in India, where the user base skyrocketed from 100 million to an incredible 200 million monthly active users in just one year. In an exclusive interview with The Economic Times, Spiegel unveiled Snap’s strategies and outlook for the Indian market.
Spiegel expressed his excitement about the “enormous opportunities” that Snap Inc. sees in India. The company has been expanding its team in India, appointing Pulkit Trivedi as the India lead and Ajit Mohan as the head of the Asia Pacific region. Spiegel himself is in India, emphasizing the significance of meeting team members, developers, creators, and advertisers face to face.
Snapchat’s remarkable success in India, Spiegel attributes to its focus on visual communication, which resonates with users looking for a respite from the negativity often found on other social media platforms. Spiegel noted, “The growth momentum in India remains robust, with ample room for further expansion.”
As for user demographics, Snapchat is reaching 75 percent of 13-34-year-olds in more than 25 countries. India, with a median age of 28, boasts a youthful and dynamic demographic, making it an exciting market for the company.
Snap’s short video platform, Spotlight, has played a pivotal role in driving growth in India. The company has already garnered over five million Snapchat Plus subscribers worldwide and is actively testing versions of Snapchat Plus without advertising to cater to user preferences.
While it’s still early in the monetization phase, Snap Inc. has made substantial investments in its ad platform, led by Ajit Mohan, to deliver results for advertisers. Snapchat’s vision includes simplifying AR development through AI, allowing developers to create 3D assets more easily and enabling dynamic lenses with the help of large language models. Spiegel explained, “This approach streamlines the process of creating captivating AR experiences.”
Furthermore, Spiegel emphasized that Snapchat’s primary focus is on building foundational models for image and video, aiming to create fast and lightweight models that can run on devices, aligning with their mission of empowering visual expression.
Regarding regulatory and ethical concerns, Spiegel mentioned that Snap is committed to using AI as a creative tool and actively monitors its usage to prevent misuse. With the growing prevalence of Open Source AI, responsible usage becomes increasingly important.
Snap has nurtured a thriving AR creator community in India, with a remarkable 60% growth in 2022, and further expansion is on the horizon. Notably, Snap introduced the Lens Creator Rewards program in August, designed to incentivize creators, developers, and teams to craft high-performing Lenses on Snapchat.