I’m sure you’re all wondering why after the media-hyped, overrated Snapchat Spectacles launch in 2016, how come you can’t see anyone, or somebody significant wearing them? How come only 0.08% of Snapchat’s users actually bought them? It is said that the reason behind its failure is that Snapchat badly overestimated the demand of the spectacles and underdelivered on its quality and content.
According to The Information, there were hundreds of thousands of unsold units, fully-assembled and in parts, sitting in their warehouses. Less than 50% of buyers kept using the Spectacles a month after purchase, reports say, coming from the Internal Snap Data. A “fairly large” percentage stopped after a week and a source said that the retention is “disturbingly low.”
Let’s analyze the problems that arose that I’m sure were a very big disappointment for Snapchat since it’s debut last year:
Snapchat was first announced in public on September 24, 2016, with the photos of CEO Evan Spiegel taken by world-renowned photographer Karl Lagerfeld, wearing the Spectacles. But despite the hype, it took until November 10 for them to launch the first Snapbot vending machine. The hype has cooled slightly, but demand was high and the lines on the streets were long because people wanted to be the first one to wear the Spectacles.
While people were clueless whether there were problems with supply chains or Snapchat can’t decide if the Spectacles were going to be exclusive or widely available, it was only in February of 2017 that Snap has opened the selling of Spectacles online. And it took 8 months after its debut that the specs became available in Europe.
If Snap had instead made its announcement, quickly outfitted some lucky normal users and celebrities with Spectacles, then launched a giant sale at the peak of its hype, all those people fascinated with the gadget might have bought immediately. Snapchat seems to have got stuck between these exclusive and mass-retail strategies.
Lack of Spectacles Influencers
For ordinary people to use the Spectacles and drive demand, Snapchat could’ve promoted the specs with celebrities wearing it and cool people demonstrating how to use it. Instead of Snapchat letting over-enthusiastic social media amateurs promote the product.
Not much of a great content
Snapchat failed to show-off how great Spectacles could be used beyond the initial commercial. They could have made sure that the internet is flooded with great videos why you need to use Spectacles to make videos instead of the phone’s camera.
We at Overpass made a video about the Snapchat Spectacles because Eric found it cool, and is now sad that it didn’t catch on. Watched it again here: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=pHtwqIvgrXE.
People are still not used to camera eyeglasses
Aside from we’re not sure if the eyeglass is recording, the design is not very popular with the younger generation. People are still freaked out and have to ask if it’s they were on camera or not. They find the design ugly and is limited to polarizing “fashion-forward” design, while the only non-black colors are bright teal and coral.
It is very annoying every time you have to pair the Spectacles with Snapchat via Bluetooth. The data transfer always took forever and easily get interrupted. It records videos only in 720p instead of 1020p. And it drains your battery super-fast. People would still prefer to use their phone camera, have less trouble in connecting via Bluetooth and videos can be uploaded at once.
These are only some if not all, the reasons why Snapchat’s Spectacles failed. They should have lived through the hype it created rather than let it died down. Building a trendsetting camera isn’t just about the tech you put into it, but encouraging the content that comes out.
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