Although Snapchat’s new and exciting video recording sunglasses have finally arrived in California, they are only available for purchase by means of a single vending kiosk at the moment, known as a Snapbot. The unit is placed in a different random location every 24 hours before disappearing. While Snapchat does plan on making more of the machines available, these too will only be at each location for 24 hours at a time before being relocated.
The futuristic Spectacles are the Snap Company’s first venture into the consumer hardware market and they are glasses that have the ability to record 10 second video clips. However, there is one small catch to them in that they will only be effective at recording when they are used in conjunction with the Snapchat app.
The Snapbots will be making use of exactly the same technology that the app is using for its array of face-distorting lenses, and this will enable people to ‘try on’ the Spectacles in various colors before making their final purchase decision.
Snapchat’s Spectacles work by recording a 10 second video clip with a 115 degree angle lens, which has been designed to mimic how human eyes see through a circular field of view. The CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, used a pair of the Spectacles on one of his recent hiking trips to test them out. “I could see my own memory, through my own eyes – it was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again,” he said.
Battery life on the Spectacles is expected to last approximately 16 minutes of video and they are supplied with a charging case as well as a charging cable. It was revealed that Snapchat has been secretly working on their Spectacle project for quite a few years already, dating back to the company’s acquisition of a smaller startup enterprise in 2014 called Vergence Labs. Although this seems like somewhat of an unorthodox manner to introduce a product to the market, Snapchat has been known for doing things differently.
When it was announced that Snapchat would be releasing the Spectacles, the company noted that they would only be available with limited distribution. Sources that are familiar with the company have suggested that only a few thousand of the units will most likely be sold – but only time will tell how popular they become. The glasses will be sold in 3 different colors, including teal, black and coral.
While the company has said that they will only be announcing the new Snapbot locations a mere 24 hours before they appear, eager Spectacles purchasers will have the ability to check the Spectacles website so they can see exactly where and when a convenient location will be available for them. The glasses will be selling for $130.
Image Copyright : Aleksandrs Tihonovs
For start-ups or any business for that matter, one of the best ways to grow is to avoid competition. Yes, you’ve heard it, “competition is good”, but if that were true there would be no need for patents or anti-competitive laws. The best companies try to avoid competition and create monopolies. The Facebook and SnapChat war isn’t a board game, however, disguised as Instagram, Facebook is out to dominate social. And with SnapChats rising popularity, the objective is to kill any momentum.
Disruption has been a hot buzzword for start-ups. Uber disrupted the transportation industry and AirBnB disrupted lodging. But disruption shouldn’t be a strategy, it should be a result of great companies being innovative.
Napster disrupted the music industry and was crushed by the RIAA. On the contrary, Apple found a way to work with music executives and iTunes thrived for many years because of it. Now streaming services like Prime and Spotify are on the rise, and this was done by avoiding competition, not picking fights.
For years SnapChat has been in a league of its own, growing exponentially using innovative ideas only found in China. In 2013 Facebook attempted to buy SnapChat for $3 billion, but after being rejected, Mark Zuckerburg launched a similar app called Poke. It flopped, however, but that didn’t stop Mark and the Facebook team from taking shots at the young company. With Instagrams latest release of “Stories”, Facebook mimics SnapChats interface and functionality. CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom, recently announced the introduction of events, a move some are calling a full-blown SnapChat blitz. Many Instagrammers are excited about the new features since they are comfortable using the platform, and wanted to avoid the cost of taking on another social network.
Image Source: Instagram
The reason why finding a niche is so rewarding is because you get to focus on growth and avoid distraction. War is costly. Don’t believe me? Ask Blockbuster and Hollywood Video (who no longer exist)… While they were busy warring with one another, Redbox and Netflix were finding new ways to serve their industry.
So what does this mean for SnapChat? I personally think SnapChat has done a great job at being creative and keeping to themselves. They have attempted to stay off the grid while focusing on growth. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prohibit larger corporations from competing against them. And who can blame Facebook? They don’t want another company to do to them what they did to Myspace. So the mission is to buy or destroy. And right now Facebook is in destruction mode.
Will SnapChat be able to survive this offensive? Who knows. The founders have proven to be savvy and strategic, constantly innovating and resisting competition. Nevertheless, Facebook has deep pockets and the best talent. This may be the reason they fell behind in the first place. Buy and absorb has been the MO of many market leaders in regard to small competitors. And when you can’t buy, #attack.
In the end, who will win, Grams or Snaps? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Larry C Lewis is an Internet behavior scientist best known for his work in social media and video marketing. He is the head of marketing at Digital Exponents and the founder of Marketinglikeapro.net. For more information, Larry can be reached on Twitter @larryclewis.
If you are one of the 100 million Snapchat users, then you will already be familiar with its new function, Discover. Discover is an online magazine hosted by Snapchat but populated by a small amount of large companies.
The interesting thing about Discover is that these big companies are being asked to pay up to $750,000 to be able to post their articles or videos to a section of Discover, and not only that but their three quarters of a million pounds is only to show their section for one day, just twenty four little hours. As you can imagine if you are asking companies to pay such large amounts of money for only 24hrs worth of branding space, then only the larger companies are financially eligible to make use of Discover.
However, business of any size can still use Snapchat for marketing and many companies do. Ultimately, any way a company can engage with its customers is good for a business, and Snapchat is another way to break down the formality of that customer relationship and to show a more human and approachable side to their business. However, it can be all too easy to get overly concerned with the self-destructive nature of Snapchat’s communications, although as with any other social media it’s important to embrace the positives. Think instead of the possibilities of having timed teaser trailers or providing brief glimpses of products that intrigue the user enough to make them find out more about them, maybe even competitions where you ask your customers to take shots and videos of them using your product.
Like other social media tools, Snapchat works better in conjunction with other tools, like using Snapchat in collaboration with other social-media tools such as Vine, Instagram and Twitter. For example, an on-the-go image created in Snapchat can be saved to a mobile device using screengrab, then edited or just pushed out to your various audiences.
One of the later additions to Snapchat is every user being given an individual QR code. This code can be scanned into a smartphone allowing you to connect to that user on Snapchat. So you now have this QR code which you can add to your social media; your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram images for example. This code will now start to encourage your social media followers to engage with you through Snapchat. They’ll see stories, chats and videos that intrigue them and then leave them to head back to your social media and website to find out more information. Marketers can use these codes
Snapchat is another tool in your company’s customer engagement toolbox, and like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, amongst many others they are considered essential to a successful company. If you need some help with using Snapchat, then have a look at this guide which will tell you what you need to know.
Snapchat is one of those apps that really took people by surprise. Facebook once wanted them for 3 billion dollars but Snapchat owners turned them down without even batting an eye. What has happened since is nothing short of a Silicone Valley style cold war.
Our friends at www.dpfoc.com/uk put together this stellar infographic showcasing some of the differences between the two.