Indian social media and networking service ShareChat announced on Wednesday that it has entered into a partnership with Snapchat parent Snap Inc. Sharechat revealed that it has entered into a contract with Snapchat to integrate its Camera Kit on its short video app-Moj. The financial details of the deal were not shared.
Gaurav Mishra, the senior vice-president, Sharechat, said that the Indian firm aims to develop 400 lenses through the new partnership over time. He said that the partnership would enable Moj users to engage on a deeper level with the community, although he declined to comment on the level of resources the platform would deploy to create the lenses. ShareChat is also known to be working with local Snapchat Official Lens Creators (OLCs) like Hardik Shah, who works at SuperFan Studio, one of the largest augmented reality (AR) creative firms in India.
This is the latest move by California-based Snap to cement its place and grow in the Indian market. It also marks the first time that the firm has entered into a partnership with an Indian company for its Camera Kit technology, which unlocks a wide range of augmented reality features. Snap had partnered with short-video app Triller earlier.
The new lenses are slated to reach Moj users both on iOS and Android over this week. This will mean those creators will be able to access the lenses and Snap’s AR tech just by opening the camera section in Moj. The app had released 30 Snap-powered lenses for its community at launch.
Moj is reported to have an official account on Snapchat to share its lenses and highlight some content from its app to expand its user base.
Ben Schwerin, senior vice president of content and partnerships at Snap, welcomed Moj as its first official camera kit in India. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the team at Moj – our first Camera Kit partner in India. The Moj community and Snapchatters have a lot in common – they are creative and love finding innovative ways to express themselves,” he said. He added that the collaboration was the start of a relationship between both firms.
“There’s going to be an incredible selection of AR lenses that are customized and localized for Moj’s audience, and we think there’s going to be lots of innovation and use cases that we couldn’t have seen on Snap alone,” Schwerin said.
Snap’s partnership with ShareChat will expand the company’s reach of its AR technology in India. Snap had about 80 million monthly active users in India in December 2020. Moj was launched in June 2020 after the central government had banned popular social media platform TikTok amid climbing dissensions with neighboring country China. Moj was projected to have about 80 million users in September 2020.
The government’s ban on TikTok had opened the doors for many upcoming start-ups in India. MX Player, belonging to Times Internet, launched MX TakaTak, while DailyHunt entered the arena with its short-video app Josh. DailyHunt’s parent firm VerSe Innovation had risen over $100 million in a Series H financing round on February 8, two months after it had secured an investment of over $100 million from global firms, including Google.