While one might imagine that every app developers’ dream is to have their product on smartphones all over the world, it seems that most will settle for being acquired by one of the world’s handful of tech giants. Such is the case seemingly with SnappyLabs, a popular full-resolution video capturing app that allowed for high-quality images to be taken and shared across mobile phones. The app, which sold for $1 on iTunes, has vanished from Apple’s iTunes App Store amid reports that Apple has acquired the photo technology startup.
The issue of whether or not a company should sell their app to a larger company was widely debated in late 2013 when Snapchat rejected a $3 billion offer from Facebook. Although Snapchat has yet to earn any revenue, the company ultimately decided that the $3 billion valuation was low and they didn’t sell.
Perhaps Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel has seen the Facebook docudrama The Social Network, which contains a scene in which Napster co-founder Sean Parker explains the fate of Victoria’s Secret founder Roy Raymond to an impressionable Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As the tale goes, Roy Raymond sold Victoria’s Secret in 1982 for $1 million and less than a decade later; the company was worth $1 billion. In 1993, Raymond committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge at the age of 46.
While it’s hard to imagine a company like Snapchat growing beyond its current $3 billion valuation, the product does offer the unique ability for messages to self-destruct after being sent, creating a truer sense of privacy. Though, that too was upended on New Year’s Eve when 4.6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers were released in a hacking incident, calling into question Snapchat’s privacy controls. Maybe that $3 billion wasn’t such a bad offer after all.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi