Snapchat is an instant messaging app that launched in September of 2011, and has gained enormous popularity around the world in a relatively short amount of time. With 150 million daily users and over 10 billion videos viewed worldwide, Snapchat continues to make a name for itself and is growing in size.
Snapchat has only been around for five years, which, compared to its competitors is not very long. Facebook launched in 2004, and Twitter launched two years later in 2006. Snapchat has only had one product since it launched, and that was the Snapchat application. However, as of Friday, Snapchat is said to be launching its newest and second product in Fall of 2016. The Snapchat Spectacles.
The Snapchat Spectacles are the newest addition to the company’s sales and has caused the Snapchat name to change from Snapchat to Snap Inc., due to the fact that they no longer only have one product.
These new 130 dollar sunglasses have an integrated camera in the top right corner of the frame and allows up to 30 second video recordings at an angle of 115 degrees that can quickly be uploaded to a smartphone.
The one-size fits all glasses allow you to record your surroundings by the touch of a button that is located near the hinge of the glasses and lights up when in recording mode.
The Spectacles are creating a great amount of potential for the young company to reach the goals of their competitors, but do bring along with them many risks. When Snapchat introduced the app in 2011, it suffered from many malfunctions and glitches in the software that resulted in an update to the application.
With the Spectacles a simple software problem will not happen but a hardware problem can occur and may result in an entire recall of the product.
In 2012, Google launched Google Glass, a head mounted device similar to the Spectacles, and suffered from judgment and privacy concerns for its ability to record video unknowingly.
This resulted in Google Glass to be discontinued in 2015. Snap Inc. plans on eliminating those issues by making the new technology into sunglasses and to have lights surrounding the camera lightens up when recording.
Facebook has also recently found its way into hardware devices that allow hands free interaction with the Oculus Rift in 2016. Facebook, along with Google and Amazon, waited a dozen years before releasing hardware devices compared to Snap Inc. who is only waiting five.
Along with the potential failure this product has, it also brings along with it a great timing for the product to launch. With the lack of competition and low expectations in the market, this could result in a highly beneficial uprising for Snap Inc.
The main, if not only way for this product to launch and be successful is if people purchase this product. The Spectacles would leave customers with a new way of trying to adapt to hands free-social media, a concept never used in society before.
“Adapting to the new ways of recording a moment in your daily life, completely hands free, is going to take some getting used to. With time, this new technology can become very popular and interactive just as their application has become throughout the years.” According to Collin Monahan, a first year.
Snap Inc. is going to be very volatile throughout the next couple seasons and may result in great sales or a complete downfall of the company. The economic impact Snap Inc. is going to experience is completely dependent on the consumers of this product.