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What you can learn from the return of Snapchat Spectacles

Snapchat Spectacles

Chances are that if you or anybody on your team used the first version of Snapchat Spectacles when the glasses were first released in 2016, you may have been underwhelmed with the product. Sure, it was cool, but did it help you improve your Snapchat offering?

If you had issues with Snap Spectacles, you weren’t alone. Despite being able to build a lot of buzz thanks to its pop-up vending machines, Snap Inc. ended up losing tens of millions of dollars on the glasses.

So, the fact that Snap Inc. is on the verge of releasing Spectacles once again at first glance is more than a little confusing—particularly given the fact that in the couple of years since Spectacles were first released, Snapchat has found itself fighting for survival thanks to the popularity of Instagram Stories.

But, if you take a closer look, you’ll note some interesting differences in the product being sold — as well as the way in which the product is being marketed. Presumably, Snapchat believes it has learned from previous mistakes and is ready to try again.

In a YouTube video, Casey Newton from The Verge said the following about Snapchat’s new offering:

“I’m not sure that this is the product that is going to launch Snap all the way into the mainstream. This is a really nice refinement over version 1, but if you’re not a heavy user of Snapchat, it’s not immediately clear to me why you would rush out and buy them. Still, I think Snap is smart to bet on hardware. Its competitors like to copy every single thing that it does, and if Snap wants to stay relevant, it has to be different. Say what you will about Spectacles, but there’s nothing else like them.”

So, what are the adjustments? Like we said, some are product-specific, while others are related to the marketing of the product. Let’s take a look at how Snap Inc. hopes makes Snapchat Spectacles a success this time around.

Product Changes

  • The new Snapchat Spectacles are lighter and slimmer than the previous version. Likewise, the case is also slimmer —meaning users can more easily store it in a pants or jacket pocket.
  • Previously, Spectacles were capable of taking video — including videos up to 30 seconds. However, the device could not snap photos. Now, not only is the video quality improved, but users also can take photos with their glasses.
  • Spectacles now include a second microphone, thus allowing for a higher audio quality from the videos that users snap.

Marketing Changes

  • The biggest change is that Snapchat has been much more upfront about the product release and how users can buy Spectacles. With its first launch, people who wanted to buy Spectacles had to just hope that one of Snap’s pop-up vending machines would appear in their part of the world. Now, people can simply go to and buy immediately.
  • Because Snapchat now offers more colors and a simpler design, it also has found an opportunity to partner with Lensabl to sell prescription Spectacles.
    Snapchat Spectacles
  • Snapchat garnered earned media from some of the largest tech publishers by gifting the companies the new Spectacles and encouraging them to write about the glasses.

How does this apply to your company’s product release and marketing efforts?

For Snapchat, the first version generated a lot of buzz, but the product was inferior. For the new generation of Spectacles, there isn’t nearly as much buzz, but the product is better. Whereas Snapchat saw most of its commerce early with its first release, it is clear that its strategy this time is to have a more sustainable and consistent flow of sales.

For your company to succeed with its product releases, it’s best to allow the product teams and the marketing teams to work together to ensure that the product manager and the marketing manager are both confident in the product and the marketing of the product. A stellar product and an excellent marketing effort leads to success. Without both of these, your company’s products could struggle.

Content Radar

Fake reviews might be adversely affecting your company. A Washington Post report details that more than half of the reviews on Amazon for products like Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth speakers, weight-loss pills, and testosterone booster are questionable.

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Facebook is starting to publish teasers for Facebook Watch shows in users’ news feeds in an attempt to expose more people to the content there. The teasers play automatically in the news feed. Users who click or tap the video are taken to the full video in Watch.

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The study also reports that 2/3 of brands will shift some ad spend from television to digital.

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Instagram users will soon be able to upload multiple photos and videos to Stories. The capability is currently available on Android devices, and will be rolled out on iOS devices in the coming weeks.