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November 27, 2013

The ‘third Winklevoss’ behind Snapchat

Frank Reginald Brown sues Snapchat CEO for stealing app idea.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

While Mark Zuckerberg is the face of Facebook, there were two others who were very significant in the creation of the social networking behemoth.

Many of us became familiar with the story of the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, through the film The Social Network, which revealed the part they played in the development of Facebook and how they sued Zuckerberg for stealing their idea for the popular site.

Now it has been revealed that Frank Reginald Brown is in a very similar situation, leading him to be dubbed the ‘Third Winklevoss.’ The tech entrepreneur has sued Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, claiming that they stole the idea for the social photo app when there were at university together at Stanford.

Since Brown filed the lawsuit against the CEO and former friend Bobby Murphy, Spiegel has admitted that Brown ‘may deserve something’ for his role in setting up the app.

Brown has sued the pair for one-third of Snapchat as he alleges that he made significant contributions to the development of the app before the he and co-founders fell out causing them to change passwords on their servers and lock him out the development.

The Business Insider has revealed a video deposition in which Spiegel admitted that Brown came up with the idea that photos sent on the app would disappear after a few seconds, one of the features that has made Snapchat so successful.

According to research by Pew Internet, 26 per cent of under 30s use it, though the number of over 30s was tiny. In November it reported that users sent 400 million messages every day, which is more than Facebook and Instagram combined.

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The app’s popularity lead to Facebook offering to buy the company out for $3bn, which would have made it Facebook’s biggest acquisition, but Snapchat declined.

The trial continues….

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