Snapchat has decided that now is the time to make a push into the Indian market.
Owner Snap has teamed up with ad-tech partner Tyroo to “drive ad monetisation and infrastructure for Snapchat, fuelling its growth in the APAC region”.
The company said that Snapchat already has nine million users in the country spending an average of 30 minutes per day using the app.
Quartz reports that in Just last year Snap was the subject of a lawsuit from former employee Anthony Pompliano.
It alleged that when approached about Snap’s poor performance in emerging economies, CEO Evan Spiegal said Snapchat “is only for rich people” and that he “doesn’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain”.
Spiegal has denied making these comments.
This revelation, be it true or false, unsurprisingly went down like a tonne of bricks in India, with the app suffering from mass downvoting and Twitter calls for a boycott as a result.
Quartz argues, however, that as ill-judged as the comments were, they were at least based on a truth - that developing markets with poor internet and smartphones with typically low-quality cameras are not a natural fit for a photo-based online social network.
However, India’s internet speeds have since rapidly increased, with its wireless data market described as one of “the most competitive on the planet” and 4G now becoming commonplace.
And while smartphone tech is still lagging a little behind, the longer Snapchat waits the bigger the risk that a competitor will successfully embed itself in the market first.
“This strategic partnership with Tyroo will allow us to bring Snapchat to more advertisers in India, and help them see the value in connecting with our highly-engaged users through the most fun and effective ad products on the market,” Snapchat’s head of international expansion Geoffrey Reed said.