- Snap CEO Evan Spiegel couldn’t resist a dig at Mark Zuckerberg over the Cambridge Analytica crisis.
- After Facebook cloned Snapchat features like “Stories,” he said: “We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also.”
- He said the tech industry is suddenly alive to the fact that privacy, and not “hoarding” data, matters to users.
Evan Spiegel couldn’t resist a dig at Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday over Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis.
The Snap CEO was on stage at the Code Conference in California, where he was asked how he feels about Facebook cloning Snapchat features including “Stories.”
Spiegel said imitation is “the most fantastic thing in the world” when you create something “so simple and so elegant.” He added that it “bothers my wife more than it bothers me,” in reference to his spouse Miranda Kerr. Kerr has previously expressed outrage that Facebook copycats Snapchat.
But Spiegel didn’t just stop there. Fixing his gaze on Facebook, he said: “We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also.”
The barb drew laughter and jeers from the audience. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was due on stage at Code Conference directly after Spiegel and he joked: “Maybe that’s what Sheryl is announcing after.”
It was a clear reference to the bruising privacy scandal Facebook has suffered over the past two months after Cambridge Analytica secured the data of 87 million users.
Snap has always played up its approach to privacy by, for example, deleting all snaps and chats from its servers soon after they are sent. It also doesn’t hoover up lots of data about its users’ interests, or what they do outside of Snapchat.
Spiegel continued: “It’s important to point out that there wasn’t any Russian manipulation of Snapchat. That there are alternatives and that the way you treat user privacy is really important. And for us, that goes back to when we were in my dorm room… We cared about data retention.
“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 forever, and saying: ‘Hey, that actually makes sense.'”
More broadly, he said despite the imitation, Facebook is struggling to match Snap’s culture. “At Snapchat it’s all about building deeper relationships with the people that you’re close to,” he said, adding that Facebook is having “trouble changing the DNA of their company, which is all about people competing with each other for attention.”
You watch the full interview with Evan Spiegel here: