View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Leadership
  2. Strategy
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.

Content from our partners
Powering AI’s potential: turning promise into reality
Unlocking growth through hybrid cloud: 5 key takeaways
How businesses can safeguard themselves on the cyber frontline

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….

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.