Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, has reportedly said that India is too ‘poor a country’ for his company to consider investing in. “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain,” he said.
According to an article in Variety, Spiegel’s comment came to light when Snapchat’s former employee Anthony Pompliano’s allegation against the company were made public on April 10. Snapchat had given up its efforts to keep the complaint redacted.
Pompliano, in the complaint, said that Spiegel made the comment when he asked him about Snapchat’s poor growth in markets like India where there was growing mobile penetration.
He had accused Snapchat of misleading investors by presenting inflated statistics on user data.
Pompliano was hired from Facebook to expand the user base of the Snapchat, only too have fired him following his allegations.
A day after news broke out regarding Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel’s disinterest in expanding the business to “poor countries” like India, the rating of the popular app dropped to a “single star” from an apparent “five star” on the App Store.
According to the app info on App Store, the “Customer Ratings” of the current version of the app was “single star” (based on 6,099 ratings) and all versions rating was “one and half star” (based on 9,527 ratings) as on Sunday morning.
The rating for the app on Android Play Store was “four star” (based on 11,932,996 ratings).
Indians did not take the comment lightly and took to social media to lash out at the statement from the CEO. As the ratings of the app dropped, the criticism of the CEO and the app increased.
“First of all, I didn’t even want to give any freakin’ star to this app. Evan (CEO of Snapchat) shows how stupid he is by saying this. I bet 3/4th of his company is run by Indian employees. If he didn’t want to expand it to poor countries, then why is this app free? Why didn’t he put any charges on it?” a user wrote on App Store, condemning the CEO.
Some users wrote, “Poor India & Spain need better than Snapchat”, “Good bye, My Snapchat Account and Snap Inc. You’ll be product of gone by era and derision”, and “Poor Evan Spiegel”.
The app was also trolled on Twitter. #boycottsnapchat became the most trending hashtag on Twitter overnight.
According to a report in Forbes on Thursday, Facebook’s photo-sharing app Instagram surpassed Snapchat in daily active users of “Stories” feature, though the format was first launched by Snapchat in 2013.
Instagram’s “Stories” feature was now used by more than 200 million people every day — an increase of 50 million since January.
On the other hand, Snapchat who launched the “Stories” format in October 2013, had 161 million daily active users in February.
“Stories” feature is an ephemeral chain of photo and video clips with filters and special effects. More recently, Facebook and WhatsApp also introduced the feature, imitating Snapchat.
Snapchat has more than four million users in India.