Snap has denied claims made by a former employee, who claimed founder and CEO Evan Spiegel said that the Snapchat messaging app is “only for rich people”, hence its refusal to expand into countries he deems as “poor” such as India and Spain.
According to CNN, a spokesperson from Snapchat dismissed the claim as ridiculous; adding that the mobile application is available worldwide for free downloads. The company also took to its official Twitter account, retweeting netizen posts which refute the claim.
Marketing has reached out to Snap for comment.
These allegations first came into view last week when documents from a lawsuit against Snap were opened to the public, according to several media reports.
The lawsuit was made by former Snap employee, Anthony Pompliano, against the company where he alleged that Snapchat inflated key growth metrics to mislead investors ahead of the launch of its initial public offering (IPO) of US$3 billion.
Nonetheless, the news sparked outrage in India, which saw the hashtag #BoycottSnapchat trending on Twitter. Angry Twitter users proceeded to share screenshots of them uninstalling the messaging app.
— Pavneet Kaur (@pavneet_sudan_) April 16, 2017
— $à¥áñtîkâ (@Paul_Sayantika) April 16, 2017
India has one of the highest number of mobile Internet users in the world and it is projected to cross the 300 million mark by 2017, said report by Internet and Mobile Association of India.
Meanwhile, quite unfortunately, stuck in the crossfire was Indian-based e-commerce company Snapdeal, as users mistook Snapdeal for Snapchat. This prompted Snapdeal founder and CEO to make a statement via Twitter to clear up the misunderstanding.
Memes about the mix-up also surfaced online.
— Krishna (@Atheist_Krishna) April 16, 2017