People found a reason to be aggravated today after reports started coming out that claimed that Evan Spiegel, the CEO of popular mobile app Snapchat, wasn’t very keen on an expansion to India and Spain as they were poor countries. The said information was tweeted by News18:
— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 15, 2017
Even The Economic Times put out a report titled:
Snapchat CEO says India “too poor” to consider expansion
This soon attracted people’s attention and they started tweeting about it:
Thinking of launching a Snapchat only for poor countries.
— No Paneer No Cry (@sidin) April 15, 2017
— Babu Bhaiya (@Shahrcasm) April 15, 2017
So what’s the truth did he really say something like that which might seriously jeopardize the company’s goodwill in this country?
Well maybe but certainly not in a way the reports suggest. As it turns out, the quote didn’t directly come from Spiegel but is part of a lawsuit by an ex-employee Anthony Pampliano, who alleged that Spiegel had said so in a meeting.
The lawsuit claims that in the meeting, Anthony Pampliano, who had joined Snapchat from Facebook, had expressed concerns about the App not taking off overseas. As he was presenting ways to rectify the issue, he was allegedly cut off by Spiegel who stated that the App was for rich people and that he didn’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain. Pampliano lasted at Snapchat only for three weeks.
The lawsuit was filed in January but the contents of the complaint were only released earlier this week. The principle issue of the lawsuit was about Snapchat allegedly misleading investors by exaggerating its user data and that top executives were completely misinformed about key metrics. The lawsuit was filed just as Snapchat was planning to go for an IPO and concerns were raised that it might dampen the spirits. But that wasn’t the case and the shares were 12 times oversubscribed.
Even though Snapchat has come out to state that it has nothing to hide when it comes to inflated growth metrics, it hasn’t responded to the India comment possibly because there are other more serious allegations which it has to fend off.
Though having said all that nothing justifies misleading headlines which attributed a quote to a person based on pure allegation.