Evan Spiegel co-founded Snapchat, which he first proposed as a class project, with friend Bobby Murphy whilst still studying product design at Stanford University in 2011. Today Spiegel is chief executive of the Los Angeles-based social media messaging company, which reportedly has 150 million people using it each day.
The photo- and video-sharing app allows users to layer filters, text and effects, creating shareable Snaps that automatically disappear after 10 seconds. Snapchat also allows users to create Stories, which are compilations of Snaps that create a narrative.
A slew of companies have incorporated Snaps and Stories into their communications strategies. Brands active on Snapchat include Burberry, H&M, Louis Vuitton , Gucci, Alexander Wang , Marc Jacobs , Calvin Klein , Victoria's Secret, Balmain and Chanel, with many offering behind-the-scenes access during their fashion shows and exclusive atelier looks. The app is likewise loved by influencers like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner . Snapchat also contains a feature called Discover, a collection of channels curated by top publishers like Hearst, Refinery29 and Vice.
Born to lawyer parents, Spiegel grew up in Pacific Palisades, California and attended the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica. He later enrolled at Stanford University to study product design after taking design classes at the Otis College of Art and Design and the Art Centre College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
As a student, Spiegel interned in Red Bull’s sales department and at biomedical company Abraxis BioScience, as well as working for software company Intuit. In 2012, he dropped out of Stanford to focus on Snapchat full-time, just a few classes shy of receiving his degree. In 2013 Spiegel rejected an offer of $3 billion from Facebook to acquire Snapchat.
In 2014, Spiegel and co-founder Murphy were named as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Today, the company is valued at $20 billion, while Spiegel himself is worth $2.1 billion according to Forbes.
As of July 2016, Spiegel is engaged to marry Australian model Miranda Kerr . The pair met in New York in 2014 at a Louis Vuitton dinner.
It was reported in September 2016 that Spiegel's Snapchat will start selling video-grabbing sunglasses, called Spectacles, starting fall 2016. Spectacles will be able to record short videos that the user is able to transfer to their smartphone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and will be saved in the memories section of their Snapchat app.