Snapchat's 23-year-old CEO, Evan Spiegel, is using Twitter to save a little face and prove to critics that he's not the arrogant, entitled youngster he is often portrayed to be in the media.
Spiegel, after being characterized as a bit of an egotistical punk, took to the 140-character social network to redeem himself. His strategy: tweeting copies of previously private e-mails sent between him and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In an insightful and lengthy profile of Spiegel, published Monday by Forbes, the Snapchat CEO comes off a bit cocky, particularly in the publication's summation of how events transpired with Zuckerberg. Forbes reported that Spiegel would only sit down with the Facebook CEO if Zuckerberg came to him. Screenshots of e-mails sent in late November 2012, and posted to Twitter on Monday, suggest something else entirely.
In the first tweeted exchange, Spiegel's response to Zuckerberg's request for a sit-down was that he would be happy to meet in the Bay Area on his next trip up. That didn't quiet satisfy the Facebook chief, who then purportedly wrote: "Are you guys based in LA? I'm going to be down there in a couple weeks so I might be able to stop by if you're around then."
Spiegel's response was a very cordial, "Yep, we're here. Let us know when you make it down - hopefully we can conjure up some good weather for you!"
Though the e-mails don't confirm any particulars of the meetings between Spiegel and Zuckerberg, or the reported $3 billion cash offer that Zuck eventually made to buy Spiegel's disappearing picture app, they do paint the young CEO in a much more positive light. And that seems to be the sole purpose behind Spiegel's uncharacteristic reveal, particularly since the Snapchat CEO has previously been extremely tight-lipped about any dealings with the titan behind the world's No. 1 social network.
But in the midst of some terrible publicity -- thanks to a hacking scandal that exposed the partially redacted phone numbers and usernames of 4.6 million users -- Snapchat and Spiegel could certainly benefit from any and all goodwill.
Update, 4:14 p.m. PT: Forbes posted a partial transcript of reporter's J.J. Colao's interview with Spiegel. According to the text, Spiegel recounted a different version of events to the publication.