In a bid to drive further growth in Asia, Snapchat has launched a beta test in eight new languages this week – five of which are widely spoken in India.
Back in 2017, Snap Inc.’s CEO Evan Spiegel apparently snubbed “poor countries like India,” indicating that his company wasn’t interested in expanding Snapchat’s growth there. And although Spiegel denies saying something to this effect, Snapchat has always been an app looking for growth among iOS audiences – as opposed to those using the variety of Android devices.
As if Snapchat’s turn to Android with Snapchat Alpha wasn’t a big enough sign that Snap was looking towards the Indian market, this beta test is. For one, it’s in five Indian languages out of a total of eight. It’s a clear sign that Snap is looking to maximise reach in the biggest smartphone market after China to try and gain some traction and reverse its stagnant user growth.
The new languages added to Snapchat’s Beta test are Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjab, Filipino, Vietnamese, Urdu, and Malay; Snapchat is encouraging users to switch to any of them if they are fluent.
Snapchat beta is testing app availability in 8 new languages
– Hindi (hi-IN)
– Marathi (mr-IN)
– Gujarati (gu-IN)
– Punjab (pa-IN)
– Filipino (fil-PH)
– Vietnamese (vi-VN)
– Urdu (ur-PK)
– Malay (ms-MY)
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) March 5, 2019
My question is: Will this test help Snapchat break the Indian market? Perhaps not. But it’s definitely worth trying to do so.