Evan Spiegel on Facebook: ‘We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices’

Evan Spiegel publicly addressed Facebook’s long-standing practice of copying his company’s products Tuesday, joking that Facebook should model Snap’s approach to collecting less information about its users. “We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also,” Spiegel said on Tuesday night at the Code Conference in Southern California.

Interviewer Kara Swisher asked Spiegel how he felt about Facebook’s decision to copy key Snapchat innovations including ephemeral 24-hour stories and augmented reality lenses. Spiegel first said that his wife, Miranda Kerr, cared more about it than he did. (Kerr said she was “appalled” by Facebook’s moves in an interview last year.) But then he brought up data privacy — months after the bruising global scandal involving Cambridge Analytica — drawing a huge laugh from the crowd.

Snap collects less data on users than Facebook does, though it does still allow advertisers to target ads based on demographic criteria that the company gathers. It has never offered a full-featured API that allows users to give away their friends’ information, as Facebook once did.

Spiegel went on to say that he looked at Facebook’s copying as a designer. “If you design something that is so simple and so elegant, that the only thing other people can do is copy it exactly … that as a designer is really is the most fantastic thing in the world,” Spiegel said.

However ethically dubious, Facebook’s Snapchat clones have been largely effective. Instagram’s addition of stories helped to drive a new wave of growth for the app, and WhatsApp’s version of stories are now the most widely used version of the product in the world.

Comments

they couldn’t give the man a mic on his shirt ? sure let’s bring a guest onto your show and expect him to hold a mic throughout the entire conversation lol…

WhatsApp’s version of stories are now the most widely used version of the product in the world.

I must be out of it, no one I know uses it!

Yup the most annoying part in whatsapp that never visit sans the occasional swipe.

I didn’t even know it existed and I use WhatsApp all the time.

A lot of my friends use Instragram stories, but definitely not Whatsapp
Weird

It is widely used outside of the U.S.

I’m not in the US and am East-Asian. Have people in my contacts list from ages of 20-40, male, female, and everything in-between. No one I know uses it.

"If you design something that is so simple and so elegant, that the only thing other people can do is copy it exactly … that as a designer is really is the most fantastic thing in the world,"

There is really nothing simple and elegant about Snapchat. I liked it as a fun little app at first, but it was never simple and elegant.

He is a billionaire and can’t get his watch adjusted to fit his wrist. Gentlemen, get your watches adjusted properly!

I first saw augmented reality lenses used widely on google+ video chat. I wonder if snapchat used that service before designing it on mobile.

Any other industry would call it competition. I don’t see why the tech industry insists on calling it copying.

Snapchat is failing because its niche exists largely on targeting children without money, not because Facebook copied some chintzy ass story feature few people use.

In my industry we don’t call it copying we call it "harnessing the concept and running with it".

It is only thought of as copying when some other bastard steals OUR stuff then it is wrong wrong wrong.

I’M SPARTACUS!!

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