In the last couple of weeks or so, Snap Inc. (formerly known as Snapchat) have unveiled a new concept perfect for the documenting individual: Snapchat Spectacles. The product is simple: sunglasses with the ability to record the user’s field of vision for up to 10 seconds, just like a Snapchat. The video can then be saved to the user’s Snapchat memories and can be sent to friends, uploaded to the user’s Snapchat story or exported to their device’s images, just like a regular Snapchat.
Recording glasses are not new, take Google Glass and GoPro for instance. Snapchat Spectacles however, seems to be an extension of how many users use Snapchat now (without the ability to take a selfie, or use one of their many humorous filters). It seems it will be a sort of GoPro, but for a more casual, social use. Many are unsure of whether or not the product will be popular with consumers or not. One thing is for sure though, the idea of recording sunglasses becoming a mainstream social media tool has never had a better chance than with Snap Inc. Snapchat’s glowing reputation and fixed place in the social media community is sure to give this new product a running start.
So what are the prospects for Snapchat Spectacles? And how might businesses be able to capitalise it? No one is entirely sure yet, as the product is due to be released before the end of 2016, with no specific date yet. But there’s a few prospects for businesses at the frontier of this product launch that we can start speculating about now.
Positive filming of experiences and business spaces:
The first thing that comes to mind is the prospects of customers positively interacting with a brand. We can imagine that Snapchat Spectacles could be great for many businesses that offer their customers an experience. Take theme parks, zoos and music concerts for instance, where the business offers something visually appealing and a ‘you had to be there’ feeling, there’s no doubt that Snapchat Spectacles can portray these businesses in a good light, and entice their friends and family to do the same.
There is also nothing stopping a business from doing these first-person recordings themselves and sharing them on their social media channels. It would also be worth considering creating a Geofilter for users in the proximity, so they can stamp where they are straight onto the footage for friends and family to see.
Businesses could also benefit from users filming the inside of their business spaces, particularly those in the retail sector with a lot to offer visually. Which brings us on to our next point…
Potentially open to scrutiny:
Having customers filming your business space and their experiences of coming into contact with a brand could be hurtful to its reputation. Customers could end up sharing their negative experiences on their social media channels for virtually anyone to see. Although this has been carried out on smartphones numerous times, Snapchat Spectacles could potentially make this process a lot easier and more secret.
It’s not just your customers businesses would have to be wary about either – media journalists and competitors could also take advantage of the stealth-factor of Snapchat Spectacles, and record your store, your employees and its merchandise for illegitimate purposes. It’s likely that instances will be very few and far in between, but something to be cautious about nonetheless.
Opinion leaders, bloggers and celebrities:
We imagine the real significant benefits of Snapchat Spectacles will be from companies who can involve bloggers and celebrities. This is particularly true for businesses in the retail sector, where bloggers are already being utilised as key marketing tools. The hands-free benefit of Snapchat Spectacles could open a whole new world of blogging as we know it, allowing bloggers to show themselves preparing a new healthy recipe perhaps, or trying out their new bike, or showcasing the new cosmetics they bought.
Overall it seems that Snapchat Spectacles will be great for businesses with a lot to offer in terms of experience. If businesses were to really jump on board with the product, and offer Geofilters and actively encourage users to record and share their first-person recordings on social media, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be able to reap the benefits and extend their reach through user-generated content.