Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel is somewhat controversial and his understanding of business fundamentals has been questioned by Multinewmedia and by others. Spiegel is back in the news not for alienating an ecosystem of over a billion users, but now for alienating an entire country of over a billion citizens: India. Spiegel is stated to have claimed in September 2015 that Snap, Inc.—the parent company of SnapChat—shouldn’t “expand into poor countries like India” and that Snapchat is “only for rich people.”
Evan Spiegel saying Snapchat is only for rich people is what one might expect from a 26-year-old Stanford dropout billionaire who got rich though self-deleting nude snapshots of its userbase. The company's investors should take heed. – Chase Raz
Needless to say, Indians have not taken kindly to the revelations and currently #BoycottSnapchat and #UninstallSnapchat are trending hashtags on Twitter in India and elsewhere in the world. Tangentially, Pakistanis couldn’t help but to politicize the issue and get #PakistanLovesSnapchat to the top of the trending charts as well.
Indian technology enthusiasts, and those with pride in their country, are taking to app markets to downgrade their votes for Snapchat to one star. Bollywood celebrities are certainly making their thoughts known regarding Spiegel’s statements. Unfortunately, however, many others taking part in the downgrade and boycott frenzy are confusing Snapchat and Snapdeal, and downgrading the e-commerce service instead.
The quotes from Spiegel were revealed through the unsealed statements of a former employee suing Snap, Inc. for misleading investors by falsifying the size and network activity of the company’s userbase in order to increase their valuation through the IPO process. The employee, Anthony Pompliano, was hired by Snap from Facebook in an attempt to gain proprietary and confidential information form the social networking giant. Pompliano was terminated and blackballed three weeks into his tenure with Snap for voicing concerns over the business practices implemented by Spiegel at Snap.
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