Snapchat – now Snap Inc – made a seismic shift yesterday with its launch of its Spectacles product. A pair of sunglasses with an embedded camera which captures 10 seconds of video on request. The glasses themselves may or not be a success, but the concept is sound.
Customers today, especially those who use Snapchat, but other social media service users too, expect to be able to visually capture everything that happens in their lives. That means selfies, foodies, and every other-ie that you care to think about.
Snap’s Spectacles just make that easier and more pervasive, and whilst the glasses themselves aren’t particularly attractive they aren’t offensive. They’re also going to be incredibly cheap.
I think that focus on doing something within the frame of an existing social network, for a particular set of tasks that Snap knows it uses thrive on, will be the difference between Spectacles succeeding and Google’s Glass dismal failure.
Whereas Google’s product became irretrievably entwined with a picture of Robert Scoble in the shower – an image so damaging that Google couldn’t save the product or project; Spectacles are much more likely to be associated with images of young celebrities having fun in a way that their followers will aspire to.
Expect Facebook to follow this up with an Instagram camera of some sort. Does anyone else have a play in this market? Not really, although if I was GoPro I would certainly be rushing something cross platform to market on the basis that it knows cameras better than any of the social media networks do – for now anyway.