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Snap Inc. celebrates inaugural APAC AR Day, highlights growing AR Community in India

The conversation mainly revolved around the global adoption of augmented reality by both consumers and brands.

Snap Inc. organised its first-ever APAC AR Day in Mumbai, India, to commemorate Snapchat's dominance in Augmented Reality (AR), its flourishing community of AR creators and developers, and the company's continued dedication to making AR accessible to users and brands.

The event showcased Evan Spiegel, the CEO and co-founder of Snap, engaging in a casual and unscripted discussion with Ajit Mohan, the Snap APAC President, during Spiegel's trip to India. The conversation mainly revolved around the global adoption of augmented reality by both consumers and brands, the thriving pool of creative talent in India, the future prospects of augmented reality, and Snap's inventive 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 was attended by AR developers, creators, advertisers, brands, and content creators. They participated in sessions led by expert speakers such as 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. These sessions provided valuable insights into Snap's newest AR advancements and allowed attendees to interact with interactive AR try-On stations.

With over 250 million people1 engaging 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.

Emphasising 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 individuals 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 rate4 when 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.

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