Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel glad colleagues didn’t ditch ‘idiot frat boy’

Snapchat Chief Executive Evan Spiegel speaks during "Disrupting Information and Communication" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Oct. 8 in San Francisco
(Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Snapchat Chief Executive Evan Spiegel found himself mortified after Valleywag published in May a series of raunchy emails he had sent to fraternity brothers while at Stanford University. He discussed urinating on someone and attempts to get sorority members drunk, among other debauchery.

But on Wednesday, he said he was glad his employees didn’t abandon him.

In a conversation with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Yahoo broadcaster Katie Couric at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, Spiegel, 24, thanked a team “that believes that you can be an idiot frat boy and also become someone who’s more thoughtful.”

Spiegel also told the crowd that Snapchat would display advertising in its Stories features “soon.” As part of Stories, Snapchat has been curating a compilation of videos and photos that people agree to publicly share on the chat app. The Stories have centered on large events like music festivals and Derek Jeter’s last game for the New York Yankees.


Each of the last few Saturdays, Snapchat has also produced a collective story around college football games. A couple of minutes long, it has featured rowdy college students tailgating and dancing, footage from the stands and shots of roaring crowds celebrating big plays. It’s been incredibly popular, Spiegel said.

“More people are watching college football on Snapchat than are watching on television,” he said.

Big college football games so far this season have drawn 5 million to 10 million viewers on television.

Asked about the number of users of Snapchat, he said, “We have a policy of not celebrating metrics” because he cares about people not numbers.

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