Indians are snapping at Snapchat like never before. Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) that runs the image messaging and multimedia mobile application Snapchat is in trouble in India after reports that the CEO dismissed the country as “poor”. This has sparked a countrywide boycott with calls of uninstalling the app.
Variety recently published a detailed report on the company, where a former employee, Anthony Pompliano, alleges that Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap, said this in 2015, “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain”. The other country that was deemed to be poor was Spain.
The allegations are part of a lawsuit that he filed against his former employer.
Thousands of Indians Delete Snapchat and Drive Down Its Ratings
The story was immediately picked up by Indians on social media. What followed was absolute mayhem with calls for mass boycotting and even uninstalling the app, and giving it a poor rating on Google Play. In India, #BoycottSnapchat and #UninstallSnapchat is trending on social media. Thousands have reportedly uninstalled the app already.
In fact, Indians have already successfully driven Snapchat’s rating on the Apple App store down to one star from five stars.
According to the claims of Pompliano, Spiegel made the comments when he was informed in a meeting that Snapchat was performing poorly in many foreign markets. He also claims, Snap lured him away from Facebook fraudulently, by lying about critical user data.
Snap Inc Denies All Charges
Snap has denied all the allegations, saying the lawsuit is a “publicity stunt” from a disgruntled, underperforming employee. A spokesperson of the company said, “This is ridiculous. Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone! It is 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”.
Evan Spiegel, the CEO, has also denied saying these things about India and Spain.
But India is still abuzz with protests. “Your great companies work because of Indian’s brains. And yet we’re poor. What according to you defines “POOR” #boycottsnapchat” said one person. “Dear “Rich” @Snapchat, Good Bye from my “Poor” mobile. I love my country more than this app. #boycottsnapchat”, said another.
Snap have become wary of this as they cannot ignore as India, which is one of the most lucrative markets at this time. It is a happy hunting ground for tech firms like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Snapchat hasn’t been that successful as it was launched for iOS devices, which are not that popular in India because of the high cost of Apple devices. But Snap (NYSE:SNAP) has been trying to break into the country.