dividing engine

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has finally addressed allegations that Facebook consistently copies the messaging app’s most popular features, saying that the social media giant will never be able to copy his firm’s values.

Speaking at a conference in California on Tuesday, 29 May, Mr Spiegel referred to the data scandal surrounding Facebook, in which personal information of 87 million users was shared with third parties for the purpose of political profiling.

“We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also,” Mr Spiegel said at the Code Conference.

The jibe was followed up with a reference to the fact Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was set to appear on stage straight after Mr Spiegel. He said: “Maybe that’s what Sheryl is announcing after.”

Protecting users’ privacy is fundamental to Snapchat’s “DNA”, Mr Spiegel said, adding: “Our values are hard to copy.”

Mr Spiegel said: “It’s taken seven years for people in the technology industry to look at what we’ve done, getting rid of personal information rather than storing it, hoarding it foreverm and saying: ‘Hey, that actually makes sense.'”

Facebook has appropriated several Snapchat features, including self-destructing messages, Stories, augmented reality lenses and Quick Updates.

Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business, believes this trend is likely to continue until Facebook has complete market dominance.

“Facebook is a Burmese python consuming a cow,” Professor Galloway said in his 2017 book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, referring to Snapchat as the cow in the analogy.

“While the cow goes in, the snake takes its shape. After digesting, it returns to its normal shape, but bigger.”