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Snapchat Takes Over Venice Beach
Evan Spiegel’s multi-billion dollar baby, Snapchat, is upsetting longtime Venice Beach residents once again. For more than half a century, Venice has been home to a unique beach neighborhood fostering artists and artisans who came here because of the cheap rent and diverse culture. But now it’s the new home of the multi-billion dollar Snap Inc.
In support of Venice’s small businesses and local artists, on Saturday, March 11, about 30 Venice locals came out to protest in front of Snap’s new store, Spectacles, on the Venice boardwalk.
According to Christina Stroh, a local resident and activist, “the local artists and business owners are not wealthy. They cannot compete with the billion dollar business of Snap Inc.”
As a result of Snap Inc. becoming an ever growing presence in the Venice neighborhood, many small businesses and long-time residents have been forced to abandon their homes and sustainable businesses due to rapidly rising rents in the area. Snap Inc.’s Spectacles sells glasses that are used as cameras to snap for the mobile application “Snapchat.”
The protestors who were asking people passing by to delete the Snapchat app, not buy the Snap spectacles or the newly offered SNAP Inc. stock forced an early closing of Spectacles. As its doors were bolted and security guards left the storefront, cheers erupted from the small but vocal group. Ironically, the protest was organized on Facebook by The Alliance for the Preservation of Venice.