2020-07-13 11:11:00

NEW DELHI: Photo messaging app Snapchat is launching a ‘Here for you’ feature in India to promote mental health and well-being, especially for Gen Z. Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z follows the cohort of millennial consumers.

Last year, Snapchat undertook research to better understand how users understand and experience mental health, and its impact on their lives. Many of them described experiencing stress, anxiety and depression. They also identified friendship as one of the main positive forces to combat these feelings. Many respondents also expressed the desire to understand these issues better in order to support friends who may be struggling with them.

Jennifer Stout, VP of Global Public Policy at Snap Inc. told Mint in an email interaction that the company used these learnings to inform a number of initiatives including ‘Here For You’.

“In the wake of coronavirus, where we have been unable to spend physical time with friends, it is more important than ever for our community to feel supported whenever they are engaging with those closest to them. That’s why we sped up the initial launch of Here For You earlier this year, and have been working hard adding local partners in the UK, France and now India,” she added.

‘Here For You’ is launching in India with the Mariwala Health Initiative and the Manas Foundation. These two expert organisations worked closely with Snapchat to create resources that cover topics such as: how to cope when you’re struggling with overwhelming emotions, how to spot signs of depression in loved ones and also a range of questions answered by clinical psychologists and mental health professionals. Each video concludes with more information on the services the partner can offer, as well as ways to contact a trained counselor directly for help.

Snapchatters in India can find these resources if they search for terms like ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’, ‘loneliness’, ‘suicide’, ‘mental health’ and ‘well-being.’

Snapchat claims that they have built the platform in a way that allows users to be themselves without public vanity metrics and other features that tend to drive social pressure and stranger interactions on traditional social media platforms. The coronavirus-induced lockdown has created a deep need of connection online.

“We shared in April that we had seen snaps sent between friends reach an all time high, video calling grow by 50%, and elevated engagement in Snap Games (which you play with friends),” Stout shared.

Snapchat is expanding its team in India and said that it has witnessed 120% year-over-year growth in March in daily active user base in India.

Recently, the platform launched augmented reality (AR) sunglasses, Spectacles 3, made available in partnership with Flipkart apart from hosting workshops on digital skills and AR with igrowing community of official lens creators (OLCs).

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