Snapchat’s Best Product is Also The Least Popular
Let’s talk about Snapchat Spectacles, something you’ve likely never even heard of. Or if you have, it probably wasn’t from Snapchat.
And I completely understand why — they’ve done an awful job of marketing what I would consider to be their best product.
I read today that Snapchat spectacles are losing $40 million for Snap and they have over 300,000 pairs sitting in a warehouse. Snap stock fell 17% in AHT after reporting unimpressive Q3 earnings and announcing plans to launch a redesign.
I had no idea what Spectacles were until earlier this year. I found out about them by seeing a vending machine and a sales rep while I was walking down Venice beach in Los Angeles.
I was intrigued by the technology and I liked the fact that they integrated with an app that I was already using on a daily basis.
I figured, ah what the hell, I need a pair of sunglasses and these are the same price as a pair of Ray Bans — It’s just an added bonus that they also record videos!
It wasn’t difficult to imagine the possibilities sunglasses like this could offer, I could capture my entire day, seamlessly. I wear sunglasses most of the time anyway, so why not have a pair that record as well?
I quickly realized, after playing with the glasses that were dispensed from the bizarre looking vending machine, that these would be a lot of fun.
Without even thinking about it, I could capture an HD video from my perspective.
But what’s so great about them? Snapchat didn’t create anything revolutionary here, video camera glasses have been around for a while. I never purchased a pair though, because they’re hardly useful without a good platform to integrate with.
With “competitor’s” glasses, I need to plug them into a computer and load them to a hard drive before I can watch and share the videos.
With Spectacles, I can take a video and immediately watch it in the Snapchat app via Bluetooth, no wires required. I can even share it with friends and family in seconds.
Are Spectacles a preview of the future?
I was recently watching Black Mirror on Netflix, The Entire History Of You(S01E03). In the episode (this isn’t a spoiler), everyone has a grain implanted in their brain that captures a video of everything they see through their eyes, from their perspective.
I highly recommend watching Black Mirror on Netflix if you’re into sci-fi.
The show is set in a future where technology has completely integrated with humanity and we rely on it for our livelihood. I was intrigued by the idea, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to have video cameras implanted in my eyes.
The Spectacles technology may be far off from implants capable of recording your entire life, but the concept is actually quite similar.
Spectacles allow you to capture little bite-sized segments of an experience or day. Personally, watching a video of something I’ve experienced is substantially more interesting than watching a video of anything else. Re-watching a video of an experience from my personal perspective has a profound difference from watching a handheld video.
I can re-immerse myself in the feelings and emotions that I was experiencing in that moment. For a few seconds I can feel like I’m back in that moment.
Hands-free recording provides me with an uninterrupted experience where I don’t have to burden myself with recording a video on a camera or phone.
I snowboarded in the Austrian Alps in September (yes, there was snow in September!) and not only did I have a great time — I have videos of the entire experience. Videos I wouldn’t have taken without the Spectacles glasses. If I was sitting on a ski lift, I wouldn’t have felt the necessity to take out my phone and take a video, but I have Spectacle snaps of exactly that.
I’ve always struggled to find a balance between capturing the moment and also being present in that moment. The truth is, it’s a hassle to take videos on my phone. I only do it when I really want to capture something.
With Spectacles, I’m not removed from the experience, I can capture it while being fully present.
Although I’m affiliated with Snapchat and have worked with them a lot in the past year, they aren’t paying me for this post. I simply enjoy their glasses and think others would too!
I may have put an Amazon affiliate link or two in the post though… (;