Have you heard of Snapchat Spectacles? If you’ve not, you soon will. The social networking trendsetters have caused a big buzz in the States, after releasing limited batches of the futuristic glasses on November 22nd, and the new technology already looks like being a game-changer for social media – and fashion!
Enchant looks at how Snapchat Spectacles could change marketing:
The special spectacles are already going for big money on eBay (into the thousands), due to the limited release, exclusivity and the excitement about the product, whilst there were super-long queues for punters looking to get their hands on a pair. Check out this picture of a pop-up store selling Snapchat Spectacles in New York:
And here is one of many tweets about the queues to buy the products:
The journey of a game-changer
Snapchat has got the jump on its rivals with these video-capture glasses, but their product has been in the pipeline for a while now.
This article from Business Insider tells the origin story of how the Spectacles idea was spawned by a small startup called Vergence Labs, who Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel quietly acquired in 2014. The idea for the glasses actually came out of an augmented reality headset prototype. When the project ran up against some problems, Vergence Labs founders Erick Miller and Jonathan Rodriquez scaled it back to an idea of camera glasses, which was called Epiphany Eyewear.
The process has seen the product evolve into a perfect blend of genuinely fashionable eyewear and cutting-edge technology, which appeals to the moment-capturing and instant upload social media culture.
New brand positioning
Spin on a few years and Snapchat have delivered Spectacles at a key moment in the channel’s growth, especially as other social media channels, such as Twitter, struggle to maintain theirs. The product comes under the umbrella of what is now called Snap Inc, Snapchat's newly-named parent company, as they have positioned themselves as a "camera company".
There have though been concerns raised over what this new innovation means for privacy, in what is already a self-aware digital age. This article from Mashable tackles the subject of privacy in relation to Snapchat Spectacles.
Like many social media innovations, there will be apprehension and moralising critics, but Snapchat has had its fair share in the past and has managed to ride it out. I'm sure they will manage it again with Spectacles.
Like a Back to the Future-style innovation, Snapchat Spectacles has managed to combine hip with tech and, although the proposition seems simple (glasses-plus-camera), this product will make a splash worldwide very soon.
The glasses allow users to create GoPro-type moments to share (albeit 10-second clips) and wirelessly add Snaps to Snapchat. There are even lights that indicate when users are "Snapping", whilst you get a handy case that charges the glasses for you.
Live video is already building huge momentum in social media marketing. Facebook Live, for example, is being increasingly used by personalities and for events, as a tool to give users new perspectives and insights. Snaps provide a further spin on this theme and this can open up new possibilities for PR and marketing activities – it certainly has virality.
The Spectacles, like the buzz around VR, create a new kind of user experience, not only for those wearing the glasses but for the consumers of the in-the-moment content.
Snaps can also be tagged with stickers, which will further enable marketers to build reach and engagement from the use of the Spectacles for brand marketing.
Here is a video review of Snapchat Spectacles from The Verge:
So, will this new innovation spark a wave of similar moves across social networking channels? Time will tell. But with the likes of Google Glasses, Apple Watches and Snapchat Spectacles the future looks bright, the future looks wearable.
Want to know about social media marketing? Read our related blog on picking the right social channels for your business: 5 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Paid Social Channels.