If you've ever wanted to create hilarious face swaps, adorable dog-eared selfies, or bulbous foreheads galore, you turned to Snapchat. As the one of the most dominant and frequently downloaded apps in America, it revolutionized the concept of instant messaging—in the form of self-destructive photos and a nostalgic throwback that reminded us all of the hours spent on Apple PhotoBooth.
However, Snapchat has lower levels of popularity in places like Korea and Japan, and is even blatantly outlawed for Chinese users. Not surprisingly, other Asian apps have thrived within the relatively small mobile and tech-savvy market.
South Korea uses Kakao Talk, Japan uses LINE, and China uses WeChat. However, none of these offer the sharing capabilities and addictive filters that Snapchat brings to the table.
Enter in Snow, a South Korean Snapchat clone that showcases how even the most renowned American smartphone apps don't fully dominate the technology engineering niche in rapidly-evolving Asian countries. Made by South Korea's internet ruler Naver and focusing on Asian consumers, it has garnered over 30 million users, according to The New York Times, since its inception in September.
Snow has access to around 720 million users in a widely expanding market, thirsty for a more personal form of messaging. Riding high atop the iOS market chart in China, Asian users are choosing this imitation over its massively popular predecessor.
While Snapchat holds around 15 filters for the user, Snow boasts an impressive collection of over 100 to boot. These include the plethora of filters that we have come to love, such as princess crowns to woo bae, comically long chins to send to our friends, and terrifying demon eyes to scare our mothers.
However, Snow also lets users utilize sentimental cultural elements such as soju swigging businessmen, images of Korean pop stars, heavenly rain of fried chicken, and adorable digital stickers. They even have sumo wrestlers and sushi filters for those in China and Japan.
One of the unique functions that is appealing to Instagram addicts everywhere is its extensive range of tonal camera filters with similar beautifying tools to the Facebook-compatible BeautyPlus. There's also a mode that lets you snap your very own GIFs using your phone's camera. You can even share your filtered masterpiece to Instagram or Facebook.
Users can also add images and video snippets to their Story, which remain viewable for 72 hours as opposed to Snapchat's 24. Other unique features include options like direct video chat, something widely appealing to teenagers and young adults.