Facebook Attempts to Acquire South Korean Snapchat Style App 'Snow'
David Lee, Oct. 31, 2016, 3 p.m.
According to recent report by the tech publication Techcrunch, Facebook made an unsuccessful bid to acquire Snow, a Snapchat-like service from Naver, the $25 billion-valued Korean firm behind chat app Line. SNOW is a camera app featuring filters and animated stickers with facial recognition capability. SNOW has been ranked number 1 in the camera category on the Appstore in Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. SNOW has been ranked on Top 10 list on the Japanese Appstore.
Camp Mobile, founded in February, 2013, is a mobile application development company based in Seoul, Korea. Ram Lee and Jongmahn Park are the co-CEOs.The company currently operates six mobile services ranging from social network service to smartwatch application, including BAND, SNOW, Whoscall, WatchMaster, LINE Deco and LINE Launcher. Camp Mobile is a subsidiary of NAVER Corporation, Korea’s dominant search engine and portal. Camp Mobile has international branch offices in the U.S., Taiwan, and India.
The app first grabbed attention in the summer when it raced up Android and iOS app store rankings in Korea, Japan and China, collecting some 30 million downloads. A feature story from The New York Times in July, which explained that Snow and Naver were exploiting Snapchat’s apparent lack of interest in Asia, only served to heighten awareness of the app.
Sometime after that story, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got wind of Snow and contacted Naver Chairman Hae-Jin Lee over the phone with an offer to acquire it. Naver saw Line raise over $1 billion in a dual Japan-U.S. IPO in July of this year, and Lee rejected Facebook’s overtures because he believes Snow has the potential to become a similar success