Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel might want to tone down his comments while discussing the target demographic for his app.
A former employee at Snapchat, instigating a lawsuit, told a Los Angeles court that Spiegel interrupted him as he was making a presentation about the app’s growth prospects overseas. “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain,” Spiegel said, according to Anthony Pompliano, who worked at the company for three weeks after moving over from Facebook.
After the alleged comments from Spiegel appeared in Variety, hackers in India, as yet unidentified, took the disparaging remarks personally and in an apparent act of revenge claimed to have posted personal details of 1.7 million Snapchat users online, according to a report on U.K. site Independent.
Snapchat denied it had been hacked and also denied its CEO made the insulting remarks.
However, despite the denials from the company, the app’s ratings have taken a precipitous dive in India swayed by consumer boycotts. Twitter campaigns such as #UninstallSnapchat and #BoycottSnapchat have devalued the app’s rating from five stars to one on the Apple store.
“This is ridiculous,” a spokesperson at Snapchat said in a statement. “Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone. It’s available worldwide to download for free.”
The critical remarks about the company by Pompliano stem from his lawsuit in which he claimed he was fired from his position after he questioned Snapchat’s internal methods for calculating daily active users. He raised concerns with company executives that advertisers were being misled. Plus, he alleged that the company was inflating its growth numbers prior to its IPO.
Snapchat is used by an estimated 300 million people in India at least once per month, while 2.5 billion snaps are sent each day, according to the Independent report.