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Snapchat’s Rich-poor War

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An exclusive news emerged recently when CEO Evan Spiegel of the renowned app- Snapchat allegedly said that his application is not for Indians, and calling it a “Rich People’s App”.

As the case was investigated, it came out to be true, only the fact being that Spiegel made that comment in 2015 during a meeting, while discussing Snapchat’s user base growth. The employee who exposed the comment to the world is Anthony Pompliano, who also claims that Spiegel said

“I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.” 

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Anthony Pompliano, a former employee of Snapchat filed a court complaint against the CEO. Pompliano served the company in 2015 as a growth lead for a short span of only a few weeks. He, according to Snapchat, was a “disgruntled employee fired for poor performance”.

According to the Pompliano, the alleged comments were made by the CEO in one of those meetings carried out between Anthony and Evan Spiegel over the Application’s base growth. Anthony observed that due to the ‘poor performance’ of the app, only a growth rate of one to four percent occurred in the last few quarters.

Anthony has filed the complaint suit against the company and plans to sue Snapchat for misleading the worthy investors through manipulation of user statistics. He called the executives of the company to be “completely misinformed”. According to him, the number of active Snapchat users in summer 2015 ranged to about ninety-five million, but the company rounded the count off to a hundred million daily users.

In his actual statement, Anthony Pompliano said that he prepared a presentation for the company’s CEO and management on September 11th, 2015 which included his findings. But Spiegel constantly cut him off and dismissed his points.

“Mr. Spiegel was inexplicably enraged throughout the meeting and refused to listen to anything”

He further states that Spiegel dismissed saying that Pompliano was wasting his time.

“Yeah I read those, it doesn’t matter”

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After a second presentation, Spiegel put forward his critique which “systematically dismantled Mr. Spiegel’s misguided criticism”. Soon after this incident- the very next day, Pompliano was fired. He was a handed a box and was escorted out of the building by a security guard, after wiping the company’s data and accounts from his phone.

Just after the news got out, it was taking by storm on the social media. The ratings took a hit as the users, especially from India, furiously posted on the social media, uninstalled the app and gave a one-star rating to Snapchat on Google and Apple App Stores.

In defense, a spokesperson from Snapchat replied saying:

“This is ridiculous. Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free. Those words were written by a disgruntled former employee. We are grateful for our Snapchat community in India and around the world.”

Snap argued that the lawsuit filed against them had their personal trade secrets, that could possibly be used to bring damage to the company, but later Snapchat underacted the complaint stating that “it has nothing to hide”.

The attorney of the company said:

“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.”

To which John Pierce- the attorney of accused Pompliano said:

“This attempt to save face by Snap should serve as a reminder that no matter how big you are (or how many billions of dollars you have) in our system everyone has to play by the same set of rules”

The suit claims:

“What he uncovered was a wide-spread, systemic failure in Snapchat’s internal controls over its user data”

But the attorney Pierce said that:

“By the end of this litigation – and rest assured this is only the beginning – we will prove that every claim Mr. Pompliano has made about the long history of misconduct, going to the heart of the astronomical valuation of this now a public company, is true”.

Well, the case is currently in court and we should wait for the court’s decision on this matter. Click on the link to view a copy of the lawsuit.

About the CEO’s comment on Indian users, according to the reports a vast majority of almost 4 million Snapchat users in India. The outraged Indians lashed out on social media and apps store.

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