Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has yet to publicly address Facebook’s relentless copying of his app.
The 26-year-old Snapchat cofounder is famously shy of giving interviews, so there’s a chance we may never hear what he really thinks.
But thankfully his fiancée, supermodel Miranda Kerr, gives plenty of interviews.
In a recent chat with Richard Godwin of The Sunday Times, Kerr said she’s “appalled” at Facebook’s copying of Snapchat.
“Can they not be innovative?” she said. “Do they have to steal all of my partner’s ideas?”
It’s unclear how much Kerr’s sentiments reflects Spiegel’s, but her comments do provide a look at how someone very close to Spiegel feels about Facebook’s behaviour.
An excerpt from Kerr’s interview with The Sunday Times:
“I cannot STAND Facebook,” she volunteers. She is not on Facebook itself, but she does have ten million followers on Instagram, which is owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Instagram recently introduced a range of Snapchat-esque features, which has drawn out her protective streak.
“Can they not be innovative? Do they have to steal all of my partner’s ideas? I’m so appalled by that . . . When you directly copy someone, that’s not innovation.” And then a sudden look of panic crosses her face. “Do I get to approve this interview? Crystal!” She admonishes her publicist who long ago drifted out of the conversation. “Oh I don’t even care. It’s a disgrace. How do they sleep at night?”
Facebook famously tried to buy Snapchat for billions of dollars in 2013, but Spiegel rebuffed the offer. Facebook copied Snapchat’s “Story” format in Instagram last summer, and the social network has since made the same feature available in Messenger. The company is also testing Facebook Stories in its main app.
Snap listed Facebook as one of the main risk factors to its business in its recent public offering paperwork with the SEC. Snapchat, which has 158 million daily users, saw a significant decrease in user growth after Instagram Stories was released last year.