Snapchat ratings drop from ‘four stars’ to ‘one star’ on App store after CEO remark row
Soon after news broke about alleged derogatory comments against Indians by the CEO of Snapchat Evan Spiegel, a storm brew on Twitter and that storm has now culminated in the rating of Snapchat spiraling to hit rock bottom.
A lone Star
According to information available from the App store, the customer ratings of the current version of Snapchat has fallen to a “single star” from around 6,099 ratings overall and for all version of the app has fallen to “one and a half star” based on 9,527 ratings as of Sunday morning. These figures aren’t real time and may change even while you’re reading this.
This backlash comes after Anthony Pompliano , a former employee of the company said that the CEO of Snapchat had mentioned to him that “the app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain”. We’re not sure about poor countries, but Indians seem to have taken this bitterly With some users writing, “Poor India & Spain need better than Snapchat”, “Good bye, My Snapchat Account and Snap Inc. You’ll be product of gone by era and derision”, and “Poor Evan Spiegel”.
When negative news about your company becomes a talking point on social media, its never good news. When your company starts trending on Twitter for negative news, it’s significantly worse. Snapchat must’ve realized this when the hashtag #boycottsnapchat became a top trend. One user even reported the app for hurtful content leaving a comment “Dear @snapchatsupport, flagged you for hateful content. #boycottsnapchat”. Some of the more popular tweets on the topic being :
“I haven’t seen any Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc Tweets yet. Thanks @Snapchat for Uniting us,” a user tweeted.
“I was addicted to @Snapchat but I love my country more than this app. Let’s see how you earn without Indians. @evanspiegel #boycottsnapchat,” another user wrote on twitter.
Snapchat has since seemed to have realized the hurt the statements have caused and have released a statement brushing off the comments as untrue. The Hindustan Times quoted the company as saying, “This is ridiculous. Obviously Snapchat is for everyone! It’s available worldwide to download for free.”
If the Spiegel did genuinely think that, he might have missed a very crucial detail. India, is one of the biggest phone markets in the world. Mobile phone subscribers in India are already in 100 millions with a majority of these users accessing the internet through the smartphones. Some reports have predicted the number of users accessing internet through smartphones in India to hit 730 million by the turn of the decade. A majority of Indian citizens, are teenagers and young adults, that makes the potential mobile users in the country over 350 million – close to the entire population of the United States. Ignoring such a major market might turn out to be suicidal for a company that relies completely on mobile use.
We cannot be sure if these are the actual views of the Snapchat CEO or not, but the damage has definitely been done.