Mumbai, November, 2023.
Today Snap Inc. hosted its inaugural APAC AR Day in Mumbai, India, celebrating Snapchat’s leadership in Augmented Reality (AR), its thriving AR creator and developer community, and the company’s ongoing commitment to democratising AR for users and brands.
The event saw Evan Spiegel, Snap CEO and Co-Founder, engage in a candid fireside chat with Snap APAC President Ajit Mohan as a part of Spiegel’s three-day trip to India. The discussion centered around the adoption of AR globally by consumers and brands, India’s booming creative talent pool, the future of AR, and Snap’s innovative approach to this transformative technology.
“I love the energy of the young and vibrant Indian developer community. With over 200 million Snapchatters in India, we’re seeing more and more creators, developers and brands tap into our community’s passion for augmented reality experiences. We’re excited to be building the future with such incredible local talent.” said Evan Spiegel, Snap Inc. CEO and Co-Founder.
Ajit Mohan also delivered a keynote address that emphasized the strength of India’s thriving AR creator and developer community and their innovative collaborations with brand partners.
Highlighting the hyper growth of the AR creator community in India, Ajit Mohan, President, APAC, Snap Inc. said, “Thanks to the innovation and creativity of these incredibly talented AR developers and creators, Snapchatters around the world are able to engage with immersive AR experiences which bring everyday moments to life. Snapchat is deeply committed to empowering these creators, offering monetization avenues and providing innovative tools to support their creative aspirations. We are honoured to have had creators from all over India and across APAC attend Snap’s AR Day to celebrate this ongoing innovation.”
The event saw AR developers, creators, advertisers, brands, and content creators attend sessions led by expert speakers including Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Snap’s VP Product Growth, Resh Sidhu, Global Director Arcadia, Snap’s AR Creative Studio, Haran Ramachandran, Snap’s APAC Head of Creative Strategy, and Jeremy Voss, Snap’s Director of Product. Through these engaging sessions, attendees were able to learn about Snap’s latest AR innovations and engage with interactive AR try-On stations.
With over 250 million people1engaging with AR on Snapchat daily on average, Indian AR developers are building strong businesses on the platform. The Snap AR creator community in India grew by 60% in 20222, and given the positive trends, will continue to grow with talented AR creators from all walks of life in 2024 as well.
One such creator is Vivek Thakur, who began his academic journey in medicine but switched to microbiology due to financial constraints. It was during his college years that he discovered the immersive world of augmented reality, creating the immensely popular “Smoke Flare” Lens which was a global viral Lens that generated over 10 billion impressions on Snapchat. Vivek is now a successful AR developer who collaborates with renowned brands such as Coca-Cola as well as creating custom Lenses found on Snapchat.
Emphasizing the opportunities that are paving new revenue streams for AR creators, Vivek Thakur, Snap Lens Network member, said, “AR Lenses have gained immense popularity in India as they encourage visual expression. Snap is empowering creators and developers like myself by providing us with creative tools and opportunities to generate revenue through Lens creation. Even for creators without coding backgrounds, by using Snapchat’s Lens Studio, which is incredibly intuitive, they can build careers and strong communities.”
In August this year, Snap launched the Lens Creator Rewards program, a new way for Snap AR creators, Lens developers, and teams to get rewarded for building top-performing Lenses on Snapchat.
Snapchat has a distinctive and unduplicated audience, as well as advanced advertising solutions, and has emerged as a key partner for brands. This is especially true given the growing adoption of AR among Indian users, providing businesses with a unique opportunity to connect with this user base.
In India, 95% of Gen Z individuals3 express a keen interest in using AR for shopping, with 73%believing3 that AR experiences provide a more personal touch. Moreover, globally, AR demonstrates an impressive 94% higher conversion rate4when consumers interact with products, resulting in a 25% decrease in return rates4.
Snap featured its AR try-on booth at the AR Day event, offering attendees an opportunity to experience this innovative technology firsthand. These stations provided various try-on experiences, including fashion and beauty.
Further igniting the festive fervor, Snapchat is gearing up to bring the festive spirit alive for its 200 million Indian users5 with the launch of special Diwali-themed AR Lenses.
One of them called the “Sweets Make My Diwali Complete” exclusive Lens, built by Snap Lens Network creator Karishma Katiyar, helps decorate mithai shops with firecrackers, diyas, and floral decor, adding to the festive vibe.
With a Connected AR Lens developed by Snap Lens Network inventor Pal Kagrecha, one can enjoy painting a virtual rangoli during Diwali even if away from home.
These Lenses bring the warmth of Diwali come alive, allowing Snapchatters to celebrate and share the festive spirit with loved ones.