Localization Importance: Snapchat Localization Case Study

Localization Importance: Snapchat Localization Case Study
Localization Importance: Snapchat Localization Case Study

Social media profiles occupy an integral and irreplaceable part of individual lives. The diversity on such platforms is wide, considering the entire global population maintains its presence- which is why there are several different forms of app localization services as well. Performing this study on Snapchat Localization has more than a sole motive- it also constitutes marketing strategies for such social media platforms. These, in turn, form an entire base of sufficient conditions to popularize a platform, application, or business.

To prove and chalk out how localization affects a platform or media, we have summarized the evolution of Snapchat over the years, transforming itself from an application designed in Siegel’s father’s house to the top 5 social media apps used for communication and entertainment. Even before competing platforms devised filters, Snapchat was out with their ‘stories’ and ‘Geofilters’.

Snapchat: A glimpse from its timeline

Launched and released in 2011, Snapchat completed more than a decade of its journey. Originally named Picaboo, the founders renamed it for trademark issues.

The launch history follows as;


  • Making the mobile application available in Android stores.
  • Growth indicated 25 images sent per second via Snapchat. The November end marked 20 million shares a day.


  • Snapchat introduces the concept of stories.
  • Releasing snap kids for users under 13 years of age.
  • Refusing to be overtaken by Mark Zuckerberg for $3 billion.


  • Introducing Geofilters.
  • The user base included 40% adults in the entire USA


  • Introducing additional filters.
  • Completing the record of gaining 75 million total users.


  • Introducing snap streaks, Bitmojis, and memories. Competing social media platform Instagram also introduces stories and scaling requirements for further Snapchat localization.
  • Refusing to be overtaken by Google for $30 billion.
  • Rebranding to Snap Inc, the parent company.


  • Additional algorithm for feed stories.


  • Facing backlash on updated application with a chronological story order.


  • Partners summit hosted by Snapchat.

Observably over the years, Snapchat evolved into a popular social media application among interested masses. Most users being very young appreciated the introduction of updates like stories, filters, and other innovative features that gave a unique perspective to life. From a general social media point of view, and from youngsters among whom the emerging features of Snapchat were popularized, Snapchat localization stood out as important.

However, its app localization services in Indian languages did not start until October 22, with its launch of original shows aiming at the Indian mark as a target. We consider this involvement necessary as the starting point of our case study since Snap Inc, after the takeover of the parent company in 2019, deemed it necessary to invest in the Indian market as one of the first measures to define its localization strategies.

Read More – What Do Localisation Services Do?

Snapchat Localization

  • Adding local content in languages that are a part of the official 37 Snapchat languages.
  • Drive growth with local marketing initiatives and investments.
  • Promote creator communities that are locally augmented.

App Localization Services- Insights from Andersen

The chief financial officer of Snapchat Derek Anderson provided essential insights into the motive of Snapchat specializing in local strategies in India as one of the first Snapchat localization measures. The answer to “why India” lies in;

  • Rapid population growth, industrialization, and use of smartphones among young individuals.
  • Urbanization and the expansion of the Internet, mobile networks, etc., accelerated by GDP growth.
  • Assuring statistics implying double growth in Snapchat users over the last few years.

Read More – Most Industries That Need Localization Services

Before Localizing to India

A company in any industry cannot expect to completely localize with foreign investors and workers. A foreign company still has to rely on a localized workforce for region-based strategically arranged ideas. 

Snapchat launched app localization services to understand demographic structure and behavior among young adults and teenagers within the age range of 13 and 24. This is the learning stage of localization. After careful observation, they recreated a similar user-based environment in the lab to test local connectivity.

Their establishment stage involved training creators through both online as well as offline workshops at institutions to help recognize local marketing strategies and make technological and application advancements for designing innovative Indian-based content.

Localization Challenges

The Snapchat localization case study is incomplete without identifying challenges. In the case of Snapchat, we could compare cultural differences, vast overlapping regions within the same areas, and complexity in determining the shift of consumer preferences on observing localized content.

Listed are the small bits of the big challenges Snapchat faced;

  • Competing social media substitutes that have already localized way before Snapchat intended to. 
  • Translating content into the most popular languages in India. Choosing among the popular gets difficult since there are multiple.
  • Resourcing the right influencers and marketers to locally encourage youngsters to install the app. 
  • The new Geofilter concept that was introduced in 2014 faced issues even with Support Assist. It discouraged local users.

Read More – Why Do You Need Professional Japanese Localisation Services For Your Product?

Analyzing Profits

Overcoming the challenges of localizing involved getting new teams together. We are of knowledge that Snapchat reorganized its stories, map, camera, communication, and short video stances that offer a spotlight to improve profit turnovers. It simply showcases how expensive and time-consuming localization can be. Since there are costs to cover, the application must find varied procedures to earn profits.

Since Snapchat localization guarantees long-term profits, the app does not have much to worry about in terms of both revenue and user base.

Future localization plans

  • To increase and focus on building DAU or daily active users in India.
  • Driving in non-local advertisers for promotional activities.
  • Modifying or re-modelling Snapchat innovations for better local creator reach. It defines the community standing of the app.


Today, in 2022, Snapchat stands successful, offering local language options in 37 spheres. This India-based Snapchat localization case study proves how expensive it might be for any application to try and localize, and the amount of professional expertise and outsourcing is necessary to achieve target localization goals.

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