Snapchat ‘avoids popularity contest pressure of social media’, founder argues

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Yui Mok/PA

Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat puts less pressure on people to be popular, app co-founder Evan Spiegel has argued.

The 28-year-old entrepreneur believes that the social messaging app has an advantage over the likes of Facebook and Twitter because it does not include public likes or comments.

“That’s why our service has grown over time because it doesn’t have likes or comments, because we don’t put pressure to be pretty or perfect, you can just be yourself,” Mr Spiegel said at this year’s Paley International Council Summit in London.

“I think it’s critically important for us to create ways for people to connect with their close friends and family, and to avoid the pressure of the popularity contest on social media.”

The boss of Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, also admitted that it is “very hard to compete” with bigger social networks but said they need to do more to adapt to different countries.

“I think we’re getting to a place today where these platforms are very powerful, are shaping our society, so you already have increasingly more legislative action, more regulatory frameworks, and companies will have to adapt themselves to localise their businesses,” Mr Spiegel continued.

“I think what’s been fascinating about the last year or two is that people went from being really not understanding the impact of privacy, to now understanding that privacy is critical to the services that they use.”

Snapchat’s number of daily active user count recently dropped by 1% in the three months up to the end of September, dropping from 188 million in the previous quarter to 186 million.

Chris Price