SAN FRANCISCO — On Thursday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received a raunchy rejection notice via the outrageously popular Snapchat messaging app he offered to buy for three billion dollars, according to sources.
In what’s being called a bold public relations move, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel eschewed a traditional phone call or email and instead sent Zuckerberg a text message containing a picture of his genitalia, which he hoped would be a sufficient gesture to turn down Zuckerberg’s offer.
According to sources briefed on the failed buyout, Spiegel used Snapchat—which allows users to send messages and photos that disappear after ten seconds—to send the Facebook founder a photo of his genitals because he felt it would “more accurately convey his feelings about [Zuckerberg’s] 3 billion dollars” than a phone call would.
“Evan considered sending a picture of his anus—since that would show Mark where he could stick his money,” said Snapchat developer Bobby Murphy. “But ultimately he decided that that would be a little too crass.”
While Spiegel’s form of rejection may be considered juvenile and unprofessional, some tech experts are saying that it was a brilliant way to demonstrate the power of Snapchat.
“This is exactly what Snapchat is for,” said Charles Hardesty of Wired.com. “It allows you to send a picture of your hairy, misshapen nether-regions and know that ten seconds later it will be like it never happened. Spiegel’s rejection text is, frankly, a brilliant marketing scheme.”
According to Forbes.com, Zuckerberg was interested in purchasing Snapchat because the number of teens and young adults signing up for Facebook has been slipping recently, and integrating Snapchat may have been a way to reignite interest among a key internet demographic. But Spiegel and other managers believe that Snapchat, which has been courted by other investors, can do better than $3 billion.
“Snapchat has really opened up a whole new world of sexting for people who would normally worry about the long-term consequences,” Murphy said. “Even grandma can now flash a quick nipple and rest easy that only one person will see it. That kind of technology is worth way more than $3 billion.”