Published: December 6, 2017
Snap Inc., the parent company of the flourishing social media platform, Snapchat, announced in late October 2017 that their Spectacles product line has left the company with millions of dollars of losses and hundreds of thousands of unsold pieces of inventory. Even so, Snap has not yet indicated that they will move away from Spectacles or other wearable technologies in the future. So what makes Snapchat Spectacles unique and can they be helpful to brands?
What are Snapchat Spectacles?
In September 2016, Snap first announced their new Spectacles product as a cool new way for Snapchat users to share their experiences directly through their own eyes. Snapchat Spectacles retail for $130. This is much cheaper than other smart glasses options available in the market. The Spectacles link only to Snapchat, but allow users to share their experiences on the platform like never before. The glasses feature a 115-degree lens, designed to replicate how human vision actually works. They are able to record video from this perspective in 10-second increments, up to 30 seconds at a time.
When the product first became available for purchase in November 2016, they were only found in exclusive Snapbot vending machines located mainly in larger cities. It wasn’t until the following February that Spectacles became available online. By then, some of the hype had faded. Since their release, over 150,000 Spectacles have been sold, which exceeded initial expectations. However, heightened supply and production in order to meet this demand proved to be a miscalculation when interest tapered off.
What opportunity does Snapchat Spectacles offer brands?
This product is all about perspective. The lens and circular video capability offer a sense of novelty and intimacy to followers that is simply not possible when using Snapchat on a mobile device alone. When using Spectacles, the user isn’t just sharing a picture or video but rather is uploading their experience. Viewers become immersed in what the user is sharing, which in turn, helps to build a stronger relationship. Allowing the brand’s Snapchat followers to feel like they are part of a first-hand experience may help them to better identify with the brand.
How do you know if Snapchat Spectacles is right for your brand?
- Is your audience active on Snapchat?
- If your audience is not active on Snapchat, then using this tool is likely not worth the time or investment. But, if they are, then this technology could add a new element to your effective use of the Snapchat platform.
- Does your brand value realness and rawness rather than perfect production?
- Using Spectacles is not about perfection — it’s about letting your Snapchat followers peek behind the curtain or step into your shoes. Does your brand have meaningful experiences to contribute?
- Spectacles have been used by a variety of brands, from sports clubs to hotel chains. The key to using Spectacles is to express creativity and share experiences that will be seen as interesting and engaging by your Snapchat followers.
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