Snap takes aim at Facebook in roadshow video

Snap is about to embark on its investor roadshow as it prepares to go public at the beginning of March. And a new video gives a glimpse at how they will be trying to persuade Wall Street to buy shares.

The video starts off with CEO Evan Spiegel emphasizing their mission as a “camera company.” He compares Snap’s video experience to Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. “Snapchat really tapped into that human desire to communicate in a way that feels like its face-to-face even if you’re far way.”

With co-founder and CTO Bobby Murphy, the two reflect on the early days of the company and why they felt that photos should “delete by default.” Spiegel said that because the photos vanish, “there isn’t pressure to feel pretty or perfect. Self-expression isn’t a contest.”

But it wasn’t long before they took some digs at other social media and how their mission differs. In what seems like a reference to Facebook, Snap said they were inspired to create its “stories” feature, partly because they didn’t like how other news feeds were in reverse chronological order. “You were always scrolling backwards through a story and that didn’t really make sense to us.”

This is a sensitive topic for Snap. Facebook-owned Instagram recently copied “stories,” which seemingly put a damper on Snap’s growth.

Snap suggests that “bigger isn’t better,” when it comes to number of friends on social media, another likely aim at Facebook. They emphasized that Snap users tend to add fewer friends on the app, which makes for a more intimate experience.

In what appears to be a reference to Facebook’s “fake news” problem, Snap highlighted their curated publisher stories. On other platforms, “wacky headlines” would get distributed widely, but the “more informative would get buried,” said Spiegel.  “That editorial perspective was missing.”

Instead of Facebook’s early motto of “move fast and break things,” Spiegel highlighted a more calculated approach. “It’s not a throw things at the wall and see what sticks kind of company,” he said. “We try to take time to really listen to what our community wants from our products.”

The video also reiterates Snap’s usage numbers, where 158 million users are on the app everyday, on average logging in 18 times, or 25-30 minutes per day.

The video also talks about their road to profitability, which is likely a long way off.

You can watch the 35-minute video here.