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Snapchat makes a quiet comeback in India – Mint

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MUMBAI :

Snapchat, the app that pioneered the ‘disappearing stories’ feature five years ago, is witnessing a resurgence in India, with the country emerging as the US company’s largest user base outside its home market. It’s a resurrection of sorts for an app that lost its growth momentum after rival Instagram copied its stories feature in late 2016.

Snapchat clocked 102.4 million downloads on Google Play Store in India between January and August, according to web analytics service provider Similarweb. During the period, Instagram recorded 230 million downloads on Android devices in India. A digital media agency executive notes that Snapchat had a mere 7 million monthly active users, or MAUs, in India in June 2019. According to industry estimates, the MAUs have grown sevenfold since then.

Gen Z-ers and millennials are now back to using Snap Inc.’s flagship app for its better-quality augmented reality (AR) filters to create videos, or because they find Instagram too “addictive” or “anxiety-inducing”. An industry insider told Mint that many film industry celebs are back on Snapchat under aliases to interact with friends because Instagram is “too public”.

Small, but growing

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Small, but growing

Companies like Nykaa, Spotify, Netflix and Myntra have increased their ad spends on the platform, say influencer marketing agencies. “Snapchat marketing is a smart investment for brands. Though the platform is less talked-about in campaign strategy meetings, it holds a unique place in the market, thanks to its AR filters, games, and personalized stories by creators,” said Prince Khanna, co-founder of influencer marketing firm Eleve Media.

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Snapchat is still one-third the size of Instagram in India in terms of daily and monthly active users (DAUs and MAUs) on Android phones, but data shows it has been growing steadily and performing better than some of the buzziest homegrown TikTok alternatives like MX TakaTak and Josh on both parameters.

Between January and August, Snapchat had average of 24.7 million DAUs on Google Play Store against MX TakaTak’s 5.9 million and Josh’s 2.5 million, as per Similarweb. It also registered an estimated 59 million MAUs against 24.8 million for MX TakaTak and 13 million for Josh, a short-video-sharing platform from the makers of DailyHunt news aggregator app, says data from Similarweb. MX TakaTak, however, said it has 150 million MAUs across devices.

Digital marketers argue it may not be entirely accurate to compare Snapchat with TikTok clones as the former is a user-generated content platform, whereas the rest are led by influencers and content creators. That said, all these are ultimately short-video-sharing social media platforms vying for advertisers’ finite digital marketing budget.

“Snapchat has seen a 100% (year-on-year) growth in DAUs in each of the last five quarters, which is a good indication to take notice of the platform,” said Amyn Ghadiali, vice-president for business and strategy at digital agency Gozoop. This has sparked advertiser interest, especially for its AR marketing campaigns, targeting the 13-24 age group.

“In 2019, 80% of our AR business came from Instagram and about 10% from Snapchat,” said Hardik Shah, chief operating officer at Superfan Studio, which specializes in AR experiences. “Today, it is 60% from Snapchat and 40% Instagram.”

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In a recent Instagram video addressing toxic relationships, popular content creator Danish Sait plays a character who threatens to jump in front of a train unless his significant other forgives him for lying about smoking. “I used a Snapchat filter, sorry baby,” he says finally, and the video ends. One in every five comments on the post, seen by half a million users and liked by 150,000, harps on the “Snapchat filter” mention, indicating just how common it is for people to make videos for platforms like Instagram using Snapchat’s AR filters.

It was recently announced that Snapchat Lenses—the AR filters that people use to make videos and cross-post on other platforms like Instagram—will be integrated into the cameras of JioPhone Next, a collaborative smartphone project between Reliance and Google. Moj, a short-video app by ShareChat with over 100 million installs, already has Snapchat Lenses integrated. Snapchat’s parent Snap Inc. had rebranded itself as a camera company ahead of its IPO in 2017. The success of its AR capabilities is reported to have significantly contributed to its global comeback, as the firm recorded an all-time high revenue of $911 million in Q4 of 2020, which rose further to $982 million in Q2 of 2021.

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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