Snapchat's clone 'Snow' takes Asia by storm; may cannibalise market share

Snapchat was always compared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which are quite different from each other but with the rise of ‘Snow’ an app launched by Naver, the Snapchat clone with larger number of filters seems to be taking Asia by storm and may slowly eat into Snapchat increasing market share

e4m by Ronald Menezes
Updated: Jul 11, 2016 8:05 AM
Snapchat's clone 'Snow' takes Asia by storm; may cannibalise market share

According to the recent Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report 2016, Snapchat already sees 150 million daily users, this is much more than what Twitter sees currently. Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world and could reportedly add about 26.9 million users in the next four years which is twice the size of Twitter and Pinterest.

These statistics could however be affected given the rise of a new app called “Snow” that’s making news in Asia.  From the South Korean developer ‘Naver’ who had earlier developed the popular app ‘Line’, this one looks like a clone of Snapchat. An interesting fact is that it has already garnered over 30 million downloads in Asia (According to New York Times) since its release in September last year.

Snow is particularly famous in China where Snapchat is banned and the country’s 700 million users make up for the world’s largest internet market. This could be one of the biggest boosts that Snow could get in comparison with Snapchat

Since the app is a complete clone of Snapchat it will be left to see if Snow attracts litigation charges. But according to latest media reports, Snapchat has not yet commented on any such steps.

Snow is available on Android and iOS just like Snapchat, and in a latest release, it was announced that Snapchat would not be introduced to Windows 10 any time soon.

The one feature that distinguishes the app from Snapchat is that users can share filtered faces on Facebook and Instagram, in addition to sharing them with contacts of users who use the app. It also has more filters than what Snapchat holds in its app.

All this while Snapchat had been compared to Facebook and Twitter but now it seems to have got a rival sharing similar features.

In the past too, apps like Whatsapp has seen competitive rivals arising from Asian markets. Line and WeChat have been hugely popular. While Line counts roughly 218 million monthly users, its base is dwarfed by yet another massive Asian social network, China’s WeChat, which counts 762 million monthly active users (According to The Wall Street Journal).

India’s very own Hike messenger is also a part of messenger competition and crossed 100 million users in January 2016.

According to ‘We Are Social, Digital in 2016’, only Indians prefer Whatsapp over other social media platforms. The survey was carried in the most populous Asian countries. Hike holds 8 percent of the market while Whatsapp holds 12 percent behind Facebook (13 percent).

In countries like China, Japan, Vietnam, Phillipines Whatsapp does not even feature in the top four or five.  


Just like Hike, Line and WeChat have continued to try and break the user base for Whatsapp in the Asian markets where the digital revolution is massive, it is seen that now Snow may just do the same while it looks to compete with Snapchat in similar markets or in the case of markets like China where Snow makes a major break-through.

The launch of Snow by Naver also means Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, the creators of Snapchat will have to take their rivals into consideration before it eats up into their business in Asian countries like China and India.

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