Evan Spiegel vows Snap will still be an independent company in five years

  • Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said his company will still be independent five years from now.
  • Spiegel added that users will start to see how important the camera is as a tool in their lives.
  • Spiegel explained that the company's focus on rebuilding its Android app is key to Snapchat's growth.
Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snap Inc.
Adam Galica | CNBC
Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snap Inc.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel vowed Thursday that his company will remain independent five years from now.

"Will Snap be an independent company?" asked CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.

"Yes, sir," answered Spiegel, speaking before an audience at the annual DealBook conference in New York.

"We have a real belief in what were trying to accomplish, and we believe that it's fundamentally different from what we're seeing in the world," Spiegel said after Sorkin asked what it would take for the company co-founder to sell Snap. "We really just want to make sure that we can continue to make that vision real."

Spiegel and Snap have endured a tough 2018 that has seen the departure of notable executives, the company's stock price hit all-time lows and its Snapchat lose its place as most popular among teenagers to rival Instagram.

Despite those challenges, Spiegel said employees remain committed to the company's vision of improving how people live and communicate through camera technology.

"Five years from now I think people are going to start beginning to see how important the camera is as a tool in their lives," Spiegel said. "People are going to be using the camera in ways that they can't even imagine today, in a way that makes it as essential a tool as your phone is."

During the interview, Spiegel also discussed Snap's focus on rebuilding its Android app, saying that one way Snapchat can continue growing is through expansion in emerging markets where Android devices are the dominant smartphones.

"One of the things that has been a challenge for us for perhaps too long is Android," Spiegel said. "We're effectively doing six, seven years of Android product development in one year to rebuild the product in a way so it can really perform for users who maybe don't have the top Androids."

Spiegel also addressed the issue of spam, malicious and harmful content that has been afflicting social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram by saying that "these problems are impacting these platforms because they've created an environment where that sort of behavior thrives."

"There's actually a higher propensity for negative content to be shared on these services because negative content has more engagement," he said. "You've ended up with systems that incentivize negative behavior."