• Jun 4, 1990
    (b.) - ?

Bio/Description

An American Internet entrepreneur he is the co-founder and CEO of the mobile application Snapchat, along with Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown when they were all students at Stanford University. Snapchat was started as a project for one of his classes at Stanford University, where he was a Product Design major. Beginning under the name "Picaboo," he and Brown later brought Murphy into the project to code the application. Picaboo was first launched in July 2011 in his father's living room, though the application was later renamed and relaunched under the name Snapchat. When he floated the idea in April 2011 in front of the product design class for his final project, classmates balked at the idea of the impermanent photos. In 2012, he left Stanford to focus on Snapchat shortly before completing his degree. Born in Los Angeles, California, the son of lawyers Melissa Ann Thomas and John W. Spiegel, he grew up in Pacific Palisades, California. He was raised attending an Episcopal church. He was educated at the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, and attended Stanford University. He took design classes at the Otis College of Art and Design while still in high school and at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena the summer before entering Stanford. He also had an unpaid internship in sales at Red Bull. While a student, he worked as a paid intern for a biomedical company, as a careers instructor in Cape Town, South Africa, and at Intuit on the TxtWeb project. Snapchat is a video messaging application on which users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of September 2015, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which Snapchat claims they will be deleted from the company's servers. According to Snapchat, in May 2014 the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day. In their first blog post, the company described their mission: “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion - not just what appears to be pretty or perfect”. They presented Snapchat as the solution to stresses caused by the longevity of personal information on social media, evidenced by “emergency detagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots before they hit the internet”. Early on, the Snapchat team focused on usability and technical aspects rather than branding efforts. In May 2012, 25 images were being sent per second and, as of November 28, 2012, users had shared over one billion photos on the Snapchat iOS app, with 20 million photos being shared per day. In November 2012, Spiegel cited problems with scaling, as the userbase increased, as the reason for why Snapchat was experiencing difficulties with delivering images in real time. Snapchat was released on Android on November 29, 2012. Snapchat raised U.S. $485,000 in its seed round and an undisclosed amount of bridge funding from Lightspeed Ventures. In June 2013, Snapchat raised $60 million in a funding round led by venture-capital firm Institutional Venture Partners. The firm also appointed a new high-profile board member Michael Lynton of Sony's American division. Also in June 2013, Snapchat introduced Snapkidz for users under 13 years of age. Snapkidz is part of the original Snapchat application and is activated when the user provides a date of birth to verify his/her age. Snapkidz allows children to take snaps and draw on them, but they cannot send snaps to other users and can only save snaps locally on the device being used. In June 2013, Snapchat version 5.0, dubbed "Banquo", was released for iOS. The updated version introduced several speed and design enhancements, including swipe navigation, double-tap to reply, an improved friend finder, and in-app profiles. The same changes were then carried over to Android devices in July 2013. Snapchat revealed in February 2013 that its users were sending 60 million messages daily, and this figure significantly increased to 400 million photo messages per day in November 2013. Then, as part of the company's May 2014 announcement of updated features—related to video chatting and text messaging—Snapchat stated that its users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day. All of the data released since Snapchat's inception has been based on information collected solely by the company, while, as of May 2014, the company has refused to disclose the total number of active monthly Snapchat users. The company revealed in a blog post on October 14, 2013 that it complies with the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by handing over images not yet seen by its users to American law enforcement agencies. Snapchat Director of Operations Micah Schaffer explained: "Since May 2013, about a dozen of the search warrants we’ve received have resulted in us producing unopened snaps to law enforcement."
  • Date of Birth:

    Jun 4, 1990
  • Noted For:

    Co-founder of the mobile application Snapchat
  • Category of Achievement:

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