The platform’s emphasis on communication with real friends, innovation in AR, and strong content offerings are proving an attractive combination to local communities.
Snapchat’s monthly addressable reach in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reached 20 million. Today, Snapchat is one of the most popular platforms in Saudi Arabia, reaching 90% of 13-34 year-olds.
The milestone comes after the global social media giant announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021, at which time Snapchat also saw its daily active users (DAUs) increase globally by 20%, year-over-year, reaching a total of 319 million DAUs. This steady growth has reaffirmed the platform’s position as a favoured means for visual self-expression and storytelling in the country today.
Part of why Snap is popular in KSA, driving the Snapchat community to grow further is that--at its core--its products remain focused on visual communication with one’s closest friends and family. Abdulla Alhammadi, Regional Business Lead at Snap Inc, notes, “There’s a rich legacy of storytelling in KSA, and our continued emphasis on visual, camera-led communication really resonates with Saudis. Snapchat is the easiest and fastest way to visually communicate the full range of human emotion with your friends, enabling you to be yourself with your loved ones, without pressure to be popular, pretty, or perfect.”
The company’s leadership in augmented reality (AR) innovation has also played a key role in the growth of the Snapchat community. Concepts that many consider futuristic are actually being used by millions of Snapchatters each day. During Ramadan 2021, Snapchatters in the KSA viewed AR Lenses over 90 billion times. Also, during Ramadan 2021, Snapchatters posted more than one billion snaps to their stories.
In 2021, Deloitte Digital study commissioned by Snap Inc., an average of 80% of consumers in Saudi Arabia alone says they expect and desire to use AR as a practical "tool" in their everyday lives. Already nearly 90% of KSA daily Snapchat users interact with Lenses every day.
“We first launched lenses, the first mass consumer AR product, to lower the barrier for self-expression. But since then, we have greatly evolved AR not only for entertainment, but also use-cases like education, commerce, the arts, and more. We believe that AR ultimately adds both utilities as well as fun to people’s lives in KSA, and we are pushing the boundaries on both of these fronts,” adds Alhammadi.
In this respect, Snapchat has proven popular not only with younger audiences in the Kingdom but also with parents. In a recent study conducted by Kantar and Snap, 71% of parents in Saudi Arabia are now on Snapchat.
In addition to communication, Snapchat offers a wide range of content experiences to its community. This includes entertaining Snaps from the community as part of its Spotlight feature, as well as a hand-curated lineup of Shows from trusted publishing partners including Rotana Media Group, MBC, Saudi Broadcasting Authority, Discovery Networks MENA, UTURN Entertainment, and many more. In fact, more people in Saudi Arabia watch Snapchat Discover every day than any of the top ten TV channels, both before and during COVID-19. Snapchatters spent an increase of 33% more time in 2021 enjoying Ramadan shows compared to the year prior.
“Snap’s camera is one of the most used cameras in the world. On any given day there are more Snaps taken than all of the digital photographs combined, regardless of the device or platform,” concludes Alhammadi. “We are proud that our technologies, products, and services are able to play a transformative role in how people in Saudi Arabia and the wider region experience the world around them, whether online or in the physical world.”