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Snapchat in Hot Water Over “Poor India” Remark


Snapchat found and CEO Evan Spiegel has firmly denied the comments that former employee accused him of saying in a meeting in 2015. Anthony Pompliano, who previously worked for Spiegel, is alleging that the executive said Snapchat is an “app for rich people” and that the company is not interested in expanding to “poor” countries, like India.

Snapchat and Evan Spiegel

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According to Variety, Pompliano filed a lengthy statement, comprised of twenty pages, as he sues Snapchat for suspicious practices being followed under Spiegel’s instructions. As noted in an excerpt of that statement, the Snapchat CEO, when informed in a meeting that the app had poor performance rates in foreign markets, responded by saying that “this app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”

Snap Inc. confirmed that it is countering these accusations, calling the claims “ridiculous.” “Obviously Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free,” the company said in its official statement.

Snapchat's Evan Spielgel

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Pompliano’s statement caused a stir among social media users, particularly among Snapchat’s users in India. The hashtag “#BoycottSnapchat” already trended across networking sites, urging everyone to give negative reviews for Snapchat, including one-star ratings, as well as to uninstall the app to demonstrate their disapproval.

Snapchat’s ratings swiftly dropped overnight as users protested, although it is yet to confirm whether the accusations in the statement have already been proven in the court of law. This time, Snapchat’s listing on Google Play Store has raked in one-star ratings along with a sequence of comments from Indian users that they have decided to act to show their protest against Spiegel’s statements.

Snapchat's Evan Spielgel

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News reports online about the Snapchat CEO’s India remark have also garnered other opinions, including those that pointed out that the country is a tough area to monetize.

“A true but hard fact is that the Indian market does not monetize well! Average revenue per user is way too low in comparison to the cost of acquiring a customer,” Facebook user Ravindra Sonavane offered as response. However, his views were not deemed as the popular opinion as Snapchat continues to rake in negative reviews.

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