Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has just managed what his company has not been able to for a few years. All of India pretty much knows his app now and even those who haven’t are going to app stores to give it a thumbs down vote after Variety magazine quoted a former employee as saying that Spiegel told a meeting in 2015 that his popular app wasn’t meant for poor countries like India and Spain.
“This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain,” Spiegel allegedly said after an employee raised concerns about the slow growth of the app in a market like India which has a growing mobile penetration, according to Pompliano’s claims.
After the report breakthrough, Snapchat faced heavy backlash from users and #UninstalSnapchat and #BoycottSnapchat started trending on Twitter.
I felt this tide of fury at the Snapchat CEO but then it was gone in ten seconds.
— Rohan (@mojorojo) April 15, 2017
— Jogan (@Isoumyas) April 15, 2017
— Amrita Ganguly (@GangulyAmrita) April 15, 2017
I’ve never used #Snapchat. After seeing folks reaction. i just installed it, rated 1 star & uninstalled. feeling nice. Maine b Boycott kia 😊
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) April 15, 2017
After Spiegel’s alleged claims were made by public by the article, the Google Play Store rating of Snapchat has also taken a hit, with many users criticising the CEO for his comments and giving it poor ratings.
The former employee Anthony Pompliano, 26, has filed a lawsuit against Snap Inc. for allegedly using inaccurate means to calculate metrics like daily active users (DAU) and user retention techniques. According to the article he was let go from the company after he raised concerns of “system failure in Snapchat’s internal controls over its user data”, as mentioned in the lawsuit. According to Economic Times, India is considered as a rapidly growing market with internet penetration expected to grow 2.5 times by 2020. An unverified report from Economic Times, also claimed that the image-messaging app had nearly 4 million users in the country last year.
India is one of the fastest growing Internet markets in the world. Most app companies look to India for users after growth in other geographies. Despite its 4 million users in the country as of last year, the app not as popular as Facebook or Twitter.