Snapchat has a competitor in Asia that looks remarkably similar to the visual messaging app. Riding high atop the iOS App Store chart in China, the South Korean Snapchat clone known as “Snow” has seen users take to its filters in their droves. Such is the popularity of the app that 30 million users have signed up to Snow since September, The New York Times reports.
Why exactly are Asian users choosing an imitation over its massively popular predecessor? In China’s case, it may be the simple reason that Snapchat is banned in the country and Snow offers an identical alternative. Elsewhere, the app’s success can be attributed to its Asian sensibilities.
A closer look at the app reveals that although it unashamedly clones Snapchat’s UI, it adds far more filters to the mix, and offers some interesting features to boot. One of the unique functions is its extensive range of tonal camera filters (apps that offer similar beautifying tools, such as the Facebook-compatible BeautyPlus, are extremely popular in Asia), which should appeal to Instagram addicts. There’s also a mode that lets you snap your very own GIFs using your phone’s camera.
Selfie addicts will most likely be drawn to Snow’s extensive amount of crazy filters. Again, the sigh-inducing rip-offs get in the way (there’s a face-swap filter included here, among other replicas), but if you’re willing to overlook them, then there’s plenty of fun to be had. Many of them rely on Asia-centric themes, transforming you into a sumo wrestler, a Harijuku girl, and Soju- (South Korean spirit) swigging businessman. We counted well over a hundred selfie filters, which comprehensively overshadows the revolving set of 15 filters offered by Snapchat.
Snow’s broad range of features shouldn’t come as a surprise as it’s made by the company behind the Line messaging app (South Korean internet giant, Naver) itself known for a wide array of stickers, and additional tools. You can snap it up on iOS and Android right now.