Ah, Snapchat. The fiercely independent app that everyone loves but can’t understand why it keeps trying. After turning down many several-figure offers for acquisition, the photo sharing app has insisted on remaining part of its parent company, Snap Inc, as opposed to being bought out by Facebook. In recent years, Snap Inc have repeatedly tried to add new and not-so-exciting features to the already popular app. It seems that last week’s announcement of a shopping feature is far from being a one-off.
Do you need glasses? No? No one does apparently
Remember the smart-glasses Snap Inc released exclusively online back at the end of 2016? No, no one else does either. Well, maybe the 0.08% of Snapchat users who actually bought the $130 glasses. Maybe it was just too much to expect the idea of video-recording glasses to take off, when most people have a smartphone that does just that. Even the weird Spectacles vending machines that popped up random cities across the world weren’t enough to shift the stock. Leading to a write-off of $40m for the Snap Inc company, it would be fair of you to assume that this was an embarrassing catastrophe that the company would just rather forget about. But you’d be wrong. After an equally disappointing second version of the glasses, Snapchat recently announced that they’re trying again with the glasses and a third generation of the product will be launched.
Supply and no demand…
However, this time there will be two cameras and the smart glasses will retail at a staggering price of $350. Perhaps this startling rise in price is to do with the quantity being produced. With the first two models, Snap Inc originally manufactured 800,000 pairs, but with the latest incarnation, they’re only making 24,000. This, along with the price increase, suggests that Snapchat knows that they won’t sell. If that’s the case, then you have to wonder just why Snap Inc are even bothering in the first place. It seems crazy to produce a product you know won’t sell.
What do they expect?
Perhaps this third generation will take off a little better. Or perhaps Snapchat should just up and sell to wise old Facebook. With Snap Inc promising the release of these third generation Spectacles by the end of the year, we will just have to wait and see.