Snap Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel threw shade at Facebook's insistence to continue copying Snapchat features across its product portfolio encompassing Instagram, WhatsApp, and the world's largest social media platform itself. While speaking at the latest edition of Recode's annual Code conference on Tuesday, the 27-year-old maintained Facebook's copycat strategy is flattering, implying the company must be doing something right in order to be so closely followed by the most powerful player on the market. Mr. Spiegel remains largely unconcerned about the threat posed by Facebook, having argued how the two aren't that similar despite many investors believing so and in spite of Facebook's attempts to mimic Snapchat-made functionalities.
"Our values are hard to copy," the entrepreneur said, adding that Facebook is presently struggling to change its "DNA," highlighting that issue as the main reason why he doesn't believe the Menlo Park, California-based firm will ever be able to replace Snapchat in any shape or form. "The DNA of their (Facebook's) company is all about having people compete with each other online for attention," Mr. Spiegel asserted, claiming Snapchat is a fundamentally different platform that's all about communicating with friends and not having to worry about oversharing or embracing other online activities that one might end up regretting in the future seeing how the bulk of the content posted with the app disappears after a short period of time (usually 24 hours) by default. In other words, Snapchat is being pitched to users as a more relaxed digital experience that's focused on interactions with close friends and doesn't come with any kind of social pressure.
That sentiment is similar to the one Mr. Spiegel expressed in late 2017 while announcing Snapchat's controversial redesign, having described the move as an attempt to separate the "social" aspect of its service from the "media" one. The app revamp is now being reversed to a degree, having apparently failed to achieve its purported goal, though Mr. Spiegel still appears to be pursuing the overall philosophy behind the change. Snap had a difficult first year on the public market, with its stock presently trading at under $11, more than $16 down its IPO price.