Evan Spiegal, CEO of Snap Inc., the parent company of ephemeral social media platform Snapchat, has found himself in the eye of a storm and at the receiving end of Indian Twitterati’s fire after reportedly saying Snapchat was not for ‘poor countries like India‘.
The 26-year-old Spiegal’s unverified comments were published this week in a Variety report about a lawsuit that an ex-employee filed against Snapchat in the United States.
Anthony Pompliano, the former Snapchat employee, claims in his lawsuit that Spiegal once said, “This app is only for rich people…I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”Also, Read Reliance Jio Prime, Dhan Dhana Dhan offer has ended: Top 5 things to know
Never the ones to let a young billionaire from the West disparage the country, Indians back home took to Twitter to slam, ridicule, and troll Spiegal, causing #snapchat, #boycottsnapchat and #uninstallsnapchat to trend on the social media platform on Saturday.
On Sunday, Snapchat appeared to have responded to the claim. The Hindustan Times quoted the company as saying, “This is ridiculous. Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free.”Also, Read No parties after 10 pm: Goa police pull the plug on nightlife
Anthony Pompliano’s lawsuit deals with Snap Inc. allegedly using inaccurate means to calculate metrics like daily active users (DAU) and user retention.Pompliano stops short of accusing Snap Inc’s senior leadership of deliberately inflating user metrics but says that higher-ups at the company were “completely misinformed” about important metrics.
Pompliano contends that during his three-week stint at the company, he discovered “a wide-spread, systemic failure in Snapchat’s internal controls over its user data”.In his lawsuit, Pompliano claims to have uncovered evidence that the tools used by Snapchat were leading to the company claiming higher-than-actual numbers for metrics such as daily active users, month-over-month user growth, and user retention.Also, Read Watch: When Member of Indian parliament falls down sewer during TV interview
Alarmed that advertisers were being misled by inflated numbers, Pompliano claims to have approached senior management with his concerns, but says was dismissed by them.In 2015, the lawsuit says, Pompliano prepared a PowerPoint presentation for CEO Evan Spiegal.
‘INDIA TOO POOR FOR US’
It was during the September 11, 2015, presentation when Spiegal allegedly made the comments that have so irked Indians on Twitter.After going through the presentation on Pompliano’s findings, Spiegal is said to have commented, “Yeah I read those, it doesn’t matter.”Pompliano says he then brought up Snapchat’s poor showing in Spain and India, both countries with high mobile penetration.
Responding to this, Spiegal allegedly said he was not interested in expanding “into poor countries like India and Spain”, before storming out of the meeting.”The simple fact is that he knows exactly nothing about Snap’s current metrics…He and his lawyers are – not to put too fine a point on matters – just making things up,” the company’s attorneys have said.
Once the report came to knowledge, #Snapchat became a trending topic on Twitter in India. Users initially slammed and trolled Spiegal for his alleged comments.
Soon after #uninstallsnapchat and #boycottsnapchat started to trend as people started extolling others to stop using the app.
— Viner Aniket (@viner_aniket) April 15, 2017
Snapchat CEO's net worth is USD 4 Billion and Mukesh ambani's USD 30 Billion. He can purchase #snapchat 7 times lol.😂bas itne hi poor hai 😂
— Akhil Koul (@akhilkoul143) April 15, 2017