Snapchat CEO says india is a poor country and app is only meant for rich people so expansion of snapchat in countries like India will degrade their reputation.
The Snapchat legal saga continued this week after a complaint filed by a former employee was released in a public filing, exposing new details about the allegations made against the company’s CEO Evan Spiegel, Variety reports.
Snap Inc (snap, -0.15%), the parent company of the photo-messaging app, is fighting a lawsuit launched by Anthony Pompliano, a former Snapchat employee. The suit alleges that the company misled investors and advertisers about the app’s performance.
But the filing released Monday contains other allegations, as well, reports Variety. Pompliano said in his complaint to the court that Spiegel had cut him off during a 2015 user growth meeting to remark that Snapchat “is only for rich people.”
The comment was allegedly made in response to Pompliano’s suggestion that the app could have growth potential in places like India and Spain.
“I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain,” Spiegel allegedly said, according to Pompliano’s statement filed to the L.A. Superior Court. The document, filed in January, was made public this week after Snap abandoned an effort to keep it under seal.
Snap contends that Pompliano, who the company has referred to as “a disgruntled employee fired for poor performance,” fabricated the allegations in the suit. The company’s legal team said Pompliano and his lawyers were “just making things up,” according to Variety.
The suit centers on Pompliano’s claim that Snapchat was providing investors and advertisers with inflated metrics and false claims about the company’s month-to-month user growth rate. Pompliano, who worked at the company for about three weeks, said that he raised these issues with senior managers, including Spiegel, who ignored him and later terminated his employment.
Snap has reportedly filed a motion to force the case into arbitration, according to Variety.
Snapchat ratings drop to one star on App Store
This comes a day after news broke out that Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel was not interesting in expanding to “poor countries” like India.
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).
The bashing started when US-based news website Variety on Saturday quoted Snapchat’s ex-employee Anthony Pompliano as saying that company CEO Evan Spiegel in September 2015 told him that “the app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain”.
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.
“I haven’t seen any Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc Tweets yet. Thanks @Snapchat for Uniting us,” a user tweeted.
“I was addicted to @Snapchat but I love my country more than this app. Let’s see how you earn without Indians. @evanspiegel #boycottsnapchat,” another user wrote on twitter.
Some users even flagged the app for hateful content and left a message, “Dear @snapchatsupport, flagged you for hateful content. #boycottsnapchat”.
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.
REPORTS SAYS INDIAN HACKERS LEAKED 1.7 MILLION APP USERS DATA TO TAKE REVENGE
Anonymous Indian hackers claim to have leaked database of 1.7 million Snapchat users, which they hacked last year.
The move by Indian hackers came in retaliation to Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel’s remark on expanding the business to “poor countries” like India. According to Indian hackers, they had found vulnerability in Snapchat database last year and had siphoned details of 1.7 million users. Hackers leaked and made this data based available on the darknet to mark their resentment against company’s remark for India.
Indian hackers are among the top bugbounty hunters in the world working of IT giants finding bug in their system. Hackers said that they had found the bug earlier but never used the data but “arrogance” of the Snapchat CEO had miffed them. They have further threatened to carry out intensive strike against company on the virtual world till the CEO apologies for his remark.
SNAPCHAT DENIES LEAK OF DATA
However, Snapchat has not confirmed any successful hack and leak yet. The incident also set social media on fire where the app was trolled. Venting out their anger, Indian users have started negative campaigning against the app due to which the rating of the popular app dropped to a “single star” from an apparent “five star” on the App Store. After the reports of Spiegel’s alleged claims surfaced, Snapchat faced heavy backlash from users and #Uninstall-Snapchat and #BoycottSnapchat started trending on Twitter. Those who haven’t even used the app are going to app stores to give it a ‘thumbs down’ vote after Variety magazine quoted a former employee claiming that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel had said in a meeting in September 2015 that this app isn’t meant for poor countries like India and Spain.
Following the controversy and massive outrage online, Snapchat said the employee who made the claim was “fired for poor performance,” three weeks ago and has been involved in a lawsuit with the company”.
“This is ridiculous. Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free,” an international spokesperson of Snap said in a statement. “Those words were written by a disgruntled former employee. We are grateful for our Snapchat community in India and around the world,” the statement added.
Snapchat may not be as big as Facebook or WhatsApp in India, but is quite popular. According to several media reports, Snapchat’s user based in India is around 4 million. Currently, Snapchat is under immense pressure to improvise as its several iconic features are being ripped off by social networking giants – Facebook and Instagram.