×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel Zings Facebook on Privacy, Russian Interference

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel came out swinging against Facebook during his fireside chat at Recode’s Code Conference in Southern California Tuesday, hitting the bigger competitor on issues like privacy and Russian interference.

“We’d appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also,” Spiegel said when asked about Facebook copying core Snapchat features like Stories. “It’s important to remember that there was no Russian manipulation of data on Snapchat,” he added.

He also argued that Snapchat was ultimately more than the sum of its features. “Our values are actually really hard to copy,” he said. What was unique about the company was its sharp focus on empowering its members to express themselves.

Spiegel used his fireside chat to defended his approach to product design, arguing that he’d prefer to release a product if the underlying thesis is right rather than spend a lot of time testing. “If we believe that a reason is sound, we are willing to push out the product,” he said. “If we lean too heavily on data, we just wait and wait and wait.”

Those comments came in response to reports blaming Spiegel’s management style for the company’s struggles with its recent redesign, which resulted in a user revolt, and forced the company to roll back some key design decisions. Asked about those struggles, Spiegel defended the core idea of separating private communications from interactions with celebrities, but acknowledged that the company had to work on its execution.

He also acknowledged that he had underestimated how investors would react to these changes. “It requires a bit more grit,” he said about the difference between running a public and a private company. At the same time, he defended Snap’s decision to go public as the better alternative to selling the company: “It was the logical step for us.”

Spiegel was also asked about Snap’s company culture in the wake of a report about an internal email that had criticized the company for not caring enough about diversity and inclusion. “That was really a wake-up call for us,” he said about the letter, which was penned by a former engineer on her last day with the company.

He went on to say that he was “proud of the progress” the company was making on this front. Earlier on Tuesday, the company told Cheddar that only 13% of its engineering roles were filled with women.

Spiegel’s appearance at the conference came at a critical time for the company: Both the botched redesign and stagnating growth have spooked investors, and a recent underwhelming Q1 earnings report didn’t help to soothe their nerves. As a result, Snap’s share price is now hovering around $10.50, down $6.50 from the company’s IPO price a little over a year ago.

On Tuesday, Spiegel said that investors were often worried about short-term trends. One example he pointed to was the transition from direct ad sales to programmatic, which drove down the price of individual ads but ultimately helped the company to sell a lot more inventory. “To me, it teaches the importance of having that long-term conviction,” he said.

More Digital

  • Jorge-Franco-and-Adrian-Suar

    Pol-ka Expands Outside Argentina, Optioning ‘El Cielo a Tiros’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    PAMPLONA, Spain  —  Taking a new expansive step as an international content player, top Argentine production house Pol-ka, has optioned small-screen rights to “El cielo a tiros,” the latest novel from “Rosario Tijeras” author, Colombian novelist Jorge Franco. Pacted via Scenic Rights, the deal sees Pol-ka planning to shoot a drama series based on the [...]

  • Tencent Music presentation at Shanghai

    Shanghai: Tencent Proposes Alliance of Music and Film

    All tech companies strive to be ubiquitous. Within China, behemoth Tencent is a clear leader of the pack. From the company’s “pan entertainment strategy” in 2012 to its 2018 equivalent “neo-creativity strategy,” Tencent keeps unveiling new master plans, each time with more in-house platforms and business approaches involved. On the margins of the Shanghai International [...]

  • Genius Spars With Google Over Lyric

    Genius Accuses Google of Scraping Song Lyrics, Music Data Company Hits Back

    Lyrics annotation service Genius.com has accused Google of scraping its site and stealing its content, the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend. However, a lyrics data provider at the center of the controversy claimed on Monday that those allegations were without merit. The Journal reported that Genius had been complaining to Google about the alleged [...]

  • littlstar ps4 app

    Littlstar Expands Beyond VR With New PS4 App, Signs Up 30,000 Paying Subscribers (EXCLUSIVE)

    A&E-backed immersive content aggregator Littlstar is expanding beyond virtual reality (VR): The New York-based startup launched a dedicated PlayStation4 app this week, giving users of Sony’s game console access to their personal media libraries, as well as both traditional and 360-degree video content from a variety of publishers. Littlstar also announced that it signed up [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • Patrick Drahi

    Altice's Patrick Drahi to Acquire Sotheby's Auction House for $3.7 Billion

    Patrick Drahi, the owner of the telecom group Altice, is on track to purchase Sotheby’s, the high-profile auction house, for $3.7 billion. The acquisition would turn Sotheby’s into a privately owned concern after 31 years as a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange. Drahi said the acquisition had “no capital link with Altice [...]

  • Soundgarden’s Immersive 'Artists Den' Experience Premieres

    Soundgarden’s Immersive 'Artists Den' Experience Premieres This Week (Exclusive Preview)

    There’s no question that the posthumous release is the most difficult to get right: Human beings are unpredictable, and trying to guess what a person’s intentions might have been is an uphill (if not a losing) battle. Yet posthumous releases ranging from Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” to recent Prince and Jimi Hendrix collections prove [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content