Many felt that Evan Spiegel was a bit mad, or at least arrogant, when the 20-something turned down an offer of $3 billion from Facebook Inc (FB) for Snapchat (now just Snap) the company he co-founded. Now the company is looking at an IPO next year to raise $4 billion at a valuation somewhere between $25 billion and $35 billion which could rise over $40 billion before the IPO and Facebook are looking elsewhere.

Facebook Live Video Masks
Image Source: Facebook Newsroom

Facebook (FB) reportedly tried to purchase Snap Clone Snow

When you don’t live in Asia, it’s easy to forget that there are apps that are terrifically popular and buck international popularity. While Facebook Inc (FB)’s WhatsApp has well over a billion users, apps like Line and others dominate South Korea and Japanese messaging apps.

With Snapchat banned in China, many have chosen to use Snow. The app which, like Snapchat is quite popular with teens and those in their 20s, provides users with many photo filters which puts you in a police uniform or gives you dog ears.

Last week we reported that Facebook Inc (FB) and Mark Zuckerberg are looking to become more and more like Snapchat. In the middle of the week, Facebook launched Masks for iOS which added witch, pumpkin and ghost costumes for those that used Facebook Live ahead of Halloween. On Friday, we further reported that Facebook is testing a new camera that uses filters to make messaging for fun and looks a whole lot like Snapchat.

Facebook Inc (FB) continues to gain users, now at over 1.7 billion but has lost out on use and engagement with younger users who simply prefer Snapchat. It’s clear that Facebook Inc (FB) wants in and it’s being reported that the company unsuccessfully tried to purchase Snow from its owner Naver (makers of Line) which values the company around $25 billion.

A spokesperson for Naver recently confirmed to TechCrunch that many companies, that were unnamed by the spokesperson, were interested in acquiring the upstart Snapchat clone.

It’s believed that in addition to Facebook Inc (FB), the company has seen interest from Alibaba and Tencent, the company behind the Chinese messaging app WeChat.

“It’s true that Snow is receiving love calls from various companies,” said the spokesperson.

Owing to a story in the New York Times, more and more people started downloading the app from the Google Play store as well as Apple’s App Store driving it to the top of popularity lists on each.

It’s believed that this was when Zuckerberg and Facebook came calling.

Not just a Snapchat clone?

It’s quite easy to simply call Snow a Snapchat clone so, well, I will. It’s nearly identical to Snapchat including the dog above ear filter that Snapchat was the first to introduce. Snow doesn’t even try to hide this fact. Perhaps because the company knows that it will never overtake Snapchat, Snow offers a unique twist in that it allows users to make and save a video or photos and then share them to both Snapchat and Facebook Inc (FB) as it happens.

While it does have filters that are unique to Snow and not “borrowed” from Snapchat, it’s clear that Snow is simply a copy geared to the Asian markets that Snapchat has surprisingly shown little interest in including China. But again, that makes a tremendous amount of sense as the disappearing nature of messages and pictures on Snapchat is not something the government is happy to allow for its population.

While Zuckerberg apparently directly contacted Naver about purchasing Snow neither company has confirmed that this call took place.