Snapchat’s rating has tumbled after a remark about India allegedly made by CEO Evan Spiegel spread like wildfire. The company is already struggling to save itself from Facebook, which is successfully copying most of its features. Now angry users in India have posted negative ratings on the App Store, pushing the rating for the current version of the app to a single star.
Why Snapchat is losing in India
Snapchat came under fire after former employee Anthony Pompliano unsealed a complaint which included the alleged comments from Spiegel. According to Pompliano, Spiegel told him in 2015 that he does not to want to expand in poor countries like India and Spain.
In response, a spokesperson for Snapchat parent Snap. Inc. said, “This is ridiculous. Obviously Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free.”
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Even though Spiegel has already stated that he has not made any such statement and that the app was taking heat for all the wrong reasons, Indians have already started campaigns such as #BoycottSnapchat and #UninstallSnapchat on social media.
What Pompliano and Snap are saying
In the lawsuit, Pompliano claims that he was working at Facebook when Snap lured him away by representing false numbers and growth. Then when he met with his initial team members, data analysts Jie Liu and Ben Wu, they stated allegedly that the company had an “institutional aversion to analyzing user data.”
Further, the ex-employee claimed that senior executives at the company were completely misinformed about the fundamental user growth and engagement metrics. Pompliano goes on to say that the registration flow completion rate for Snapchat was less than 40%, whereas the company allegedly told advertisers that it was 87%.
Documents from Snapchat state that Pompliano’s lawsuit is nothing but a publicity stunt. Snap’s lawyers stated that initially, Pompliano filed for private arbitration against Snapchat and thereafter moved to open court. Further, the social media company claimed that even Pompliano’s original attorney had withdrawn from the case.
Snap Inc stated that the ex-employee’s lawsuit is aimed at maligning Snap’s and Spiegel’s images. According to Snap, Pompliano claims that the company “maligned him” and thus, he was not able to find a job. However, the company states that this was a lie, as he got work at another company soon after being fired by Snapchat. The company further said that he was fired from his next job also following poor performance and then charged that company with allegations of fraud.
Snap Inc. also rejected Pompliano’s claim that it had manipulated metrics and data to mislead investors.
As of now, there is no way of knowing which is speaking the truth, but what we do know is that Snapchat is bearing the brunt of the damage here. India is an important market, so the U.S. firm will surely not want to miss it out. However, things could get even worse for the social app, as an online petition addressed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a cyber-cell in India is now pushing for a ban on the app in the country.