Snap CEO Calls Out Social Media’s Fake News Problem and Why Snapchat is Different

Snapchat
Snapchat is a popular social media application for sharing messages, images and videos (Ink Drop / Shutterstock.com)

Facebook has been increasingly copying Snapchat’s features and profiting off the company in the process. Whether it’s stories or the recently announced messaging streaks, Facebook has taken features from Snapchat and repurposed them time and time again. But, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is not taking this sitting down.

In an op-ed published in Axios on Tuesday, Spiegel argues that Snapchat’s algorithms are superior to Facebook’s reliance on friends. Reference Facebook and their fake news problem, without actually naming Facebook, Spiegel describes social networks as “mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions” and criticizes their role in creating “fake news. “Social media fueled ‘fake news’ because content designed to be shared by friends is not necessarily content designed to deliver accurate information,” says Spiegel.

Snapchat Augmented Reality
MONTREAL, CANADA – JULY 1, 2016 – Snapchat lenses on android cell smartphone. Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings. (dennizn / Shutterstock, Inc.)

Snap’s CEO even wants to separate Snapchat from being described as a social network. “While many people view Snapchat as a social media service, it is primarily used to talk with friends – like visual texting,” says Spiegel. “Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, comments, and permanence.”

Spiegel believes Snapchat’s focus on creating personalizing stories created by publishers in different ways, highlights who you are and what your friends are like. “The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media,” explains Spiegel. “We believe that the best path forward is disentangling the two by providing a personalized content feed based on what you want to watch, not what your friends post.”

The day after Snap’s CEO gave this op-ed, Snapchat released a newly redesigned application which focuses on interaction with friends and a separation between brands and friends.

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Jonathan Antonio

With an educational background in journalism, philosophy, chemistry, and psychology, Jonathan’s passion includes reporting clear and accurate news. As a writer, he has also worked on topics that include: entertainment, social media, and technology.