Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, who turned down billions from Facebook, said the ephemeral messaging service is planning an initial public offering, even as he warned that the tech bubble was going to burst.
Spiegel, the 24-year-old co-founder at the helm of one of tech's hottest startups, opened Re/code's annual Code Conference at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Tuesday night.
Although he has no plans to entertain another acquisition offer like the $3 billion offer Facebook made a few years back, Spiegel discussed an exit strategy of a different kind. "We need to IPO, we have a plan to do that," Spiegel said, although he wouldn't talk about the timing. "An IPO is really important."
Snapchat is largely used by young people. About 100 million daily active users by its latest tally. And to expand its market and reach older users, Spiegel said, the company was planning to make changes to the product. Spiegel is considering changing the hold-to-watch feature within the app that forces users to keep a finger on the screen to watch a video. "I think, for us, it's holding us back from longer videos being watched on our service," he said. Longer videos, eh?
Among the notable highlights from the conversation was Spiegel's take on the tech market right now, where companies, including Snapchat, are getting massive funding rounds and sky-high valuations. Spiegel says a market correction is coming, and he and his company are preparing accordingly.
How soon? "If I knew for sure, I'd make a lot of money," he said.
You can read a recap of Spiegel's conversation with Re/code's Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg here.
—By Kurt Wagner, Re/code.net.
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