Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, made a big bang as it hit the market on Thursday. During the initial public offering on Wednesday, the company’s shares were valued at $17. On Thursday morning, the stock opened at $24. That marks over a 40% increase.
That remarkable rise can be significant for any level of stockholder. When you consider that the company’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, sold 16 million shares on opening day, the profits begin to grow exponentially.
The money that Spiegel made in one day came to a grand total of $272 million. Snap’s Chief Technology Officer, Bobby Murphy, also made the same staggering amount of profit.
Spiegel is just 26 years old. He attended Stanford University before dropping out to focus all of his time on building Snapchat. In 2013, he was offered $3 billion by Facebook for his budding company, but he turned down the offer. In remarks that he’s shared publicly, he knew that he was building something important and wanted to continue leading the company towards the future
He is certainly well on his way to becoming one of the most successful tech CEOs. He still has over 200 million shares in Snap, which amounts to over $5 billion.
Snap has branched into many areas since being founded in 2011. Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging apps on the market, and the other components of Snap include Spectales and Bitmoji. The Spectacles product is a wearable pair of smart glasses that have a camera incorporated in them. Users can link the images that they record to their smart devices, giving them a new way to connect with social media. Bitmoji is a product of Bitstrips, a company that Snap acquired in 2016. The app allows people to create their own cartoon versions of themselves which can be used as emojis.
For years, Snapchat was a one of a kind app for users who wanted to share funny series of photos from their days. Recently, though Instagram has come out with a “Stories” feature that is very similar to the Snapchat story feature, where photos and videos can be linked together for the user’s friends to view. While this sort of competition does not always pose a problem or threat, Snapchat is seeing a mass exodus of users since the new Instagram feature was rolled out.
In the past year, Snapchat introduced two racially insensitive filters, a “Bob Marley” filter that essentially showed the user in black face and an “anime” filter that makes users look like an yellow face Asian caricature. Instagram Stories does not have filters like these and is much like the early versions of Snapchat. If Snapchat was still the only app of its kind, users would be more likely to air their complaints on social media or to the company but still keep the app. Now that another app acts as a more sensitive, politically correct alternative, users do not feel the need to stay.
Though Snapchat tried to play the yellow face filter off as “anime,” users who are familiar with anime characters know that this is a poor cover-up. According to Karen North, director of USC Annenberg’s Digital Social Media program, the digital age makes it hard to use excuses companies often try to rely on when they slip up, like saying users are too sensitive or they are taking things out of context. “When you’re a platform that has such broad distribution, meaning anything digital, there’s a responsibility to vet things much more carefully than people did in the brick and mortar days,” she says.
The fact that Instagram is now a kind of two for one app, users may also delete Snapchat for sheer ease of use and to save on phone storage space. Why bother keeping two similar apps on your phone when you can have one that does it all?
Police are investigating a video that was posted to the Snapchat social network. Doctors say that the video reportedly depicts three students bullying a special needs student.
Students at Greece Athena high school alerted the principal that a video showing a group of students harassing another student in the restroom had been posted to Snapchat. The video shows the three students putting a fourth student into a “compromising position.”
It is not the first time that at least one of the students has been investigated by the school for their behavior. One of the students involved is reportedly the same student who was video taped harassing bus monitor Karen Klein back in 2012. The disturbing video of the prior incident showed the student taunting Klein about her weight and physical appearance.
“You’re so ugly that your kids should just kill themselves,” was one of the taunts toward Klein, whose son committed suicide a decade ago.
The school principal contacted Greece, NY police authorities who are working together to determine if a crime had been committed. Most of the students who knew of the incident learned about it on social media websites. The school district has asked for students to refrain from discussing the incident, particularly through social media networks.
Parents and other students have voiced their concern over the bullying incident.