Snapchat, the popular photo and video sharing app, was already having a bad week. Now it’s gotten even worse.
Instagram, one of the app’s main rivals, announced Thursday that its “Stories” feature, a clear knock-off of Snapchat’s feature of deleting content after 24 hours, already has more users than Snapchat does.
The reason is a viral international effort on social media in response to alleged comments made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world.
A former employee of Snap, Anthony Pompliano, filed a lawsuit against the company that was recently unsealed and publicly reported on after Snap dropped its efforts to stop the filings from being kept secret.
In that lawsuit, Pompliano, who only spent three weeks with Snap, says the he raised concerns in a meeting about the app’s growth outside the U.S., per Variety.
“This app is only for rich people,” Spiegel responded, according to Pompliano. “I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”
Spiegel’s alleged comments exploded on social media, especially in India, where #uninstallsnapchat and #boycottsnapchat trended for hours on Saturday and Sunday.
People also began to flood the app with low ratings and poor reviews. On Google Play, the app still maintains a four-star rating, but the number of one-star reviews is now the second most common rating, as of Sunday afternoon.
“People like you divide the world,” one reviewer told Spiegel.
India is ranked 159th out of 230 countries by GDP per capita, according to the CIA. Spain ranks 52nd.
However, Spiegel and Snap insist that he never made those comments.
“This is ridiculous,” a Snap spokesperson told Business Insider. “Obviously, Snapchat is for everyone! It's available worldwide to download for free. Those words were written by a disgruntled former employee. We are grateful for our Snapchat community in India and around the world.”
Since the stock market closed Thursday, it remains to be seen if the controversy will impact the company’s value.