Snapchat‘s parent company Snap has announced plans to open its South East Asia office in Singapore to boost its presence in Asia Pacific.
Australia is the platform’s biggest growth market in APAC; Snap claims more than 5.4 million users can be reached over a multi-week Snap Ad campaign in the Oceanic country. The country is also where the platform’s APAC headquarters sits.
India comes in a close second with over 6 million, then New Zealand with over a million, over 600,000 in Indonesia and over 400,000 in the Philippines.
Snap’s senior director of creative strategy, Jeff Miller, previously told The Drum that while Snap has largely engaged in raising and driving awareness with campaigns in the APAC region, it has started to dive into the lower marketing funnel for direct response and advertising in Australia and New Zealand.
In SEA, Snap said it has ramped up its activities in the past year. It has introduced localised augmented reality (AR) Lenses and creative tools for holidays such as Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Vesak Day, and Kartini Day as well as events such as Java Jazz festival and Football Association of Malaysia matches against Thailand and Indonesia.
It has also provided promotional offers and strategic partnerships with Vivo and telecom providers, including Indosat and Maxis.
Snap has also conducted multiple beginner Lens Studio workshops at local secondary schools and universities, including Sunway and Taylor’s universities in Malaysia, and the University of Indonesia, to support the development of AR skills in the region
The platform has tapped Anubhav Nayyar, former senior director and head for Asia Pacific of Viber, to lead the region’s market development and execute its plans in SEA from the Singapore office. He will hold the role of director of SEA market development and report to Nana Murugesan, the managing director of Snap’s international markets team.
“We are excited about the opportunity to grow our business in South East Asia. It is one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse parts of the world. We are inspired by the response from our community in this region who embrace communicating visually with their close friends and family,” said Jared Grusd, the chief strategy officer at Snap.
In April, Snap reported a 20% year-on-year increase in daily active users and 44% revenue growth, rounding off a strong first-quarter performance.
Year-on-year, its daily active users were up 20% to 229 million, a 5% increase on Q4 2019. Revenue was up 44% year-on-year to $462m with advertising slowing down further into the quarter.
Snap also said the pandemic was driving greater ad engagement and reported a spike in video and voice calling usag of 50% during late March, compared with late February. Snapchatters were sent 50% more texts, while snaps were up 44%. Ad engagement on app installs increased 36%, while there was also a 19% overall increase in swipe-up rates during late March compared with late February.
However, ad spend has slowed. In January and February growth was at 58%, before hitting 25% in March, leading to belief that there will be greater shortfalls in March and beyond.