Snapchat Plans Radical Overhaul to Make Social Platform Easier to Understand

Longtime Snapchat users should prepare themselves for a radical overhaul of the way the mobile app works, based on comments made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in his earnings letter to investors on Tuesday.

With the company falling short of lowered projections for growth, Snap put much of the blame on the fact that the social platform is simply a mystery to outsiders. "One thing we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use," wrote Spiegel. "Our team has been working on responding to this feedback."


Few details were provided on the planned redesign, but Snapchat said it was working on an algorithm to show people a more personalized version of the stories they might want to see.
"We are developing a new solution that provides each of our 178 million daily active users with their own Stories experience," wrote Spiegel, "leveraging the tremendous benefits of machine learning without compromising the editorial integrity of the Stories platform that we have worked so hard to build."
Spiegel said that the changes would make it easier for users to see content from people who aren't their friends, but that private conversations between close friends would remain a bulwark of the app.

The esoteric nature of the social platform has apparently moved Snap to make these drastic changes, but the danger is that it could alienate existing users. However, Spiegel said the company was willing to bear the consequences.
"There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don't yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application," Spiegel said in his prepared remarks to investors. "We're willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business."
Snap's third quarter revenue was $207.9 million, not the $235.5 million analysts had predicted. Shares fell as much as 22 percent in extended trading as a result, before recovering slightly to trade down 17 percent.

Sales estimates for Snap have been dropping since its March initial public offering, with the company apparently unable to clearly explain to advertisers how Snapchat works, despite providing investors with detailed instructions during its initial PO. The lack of a news feed and no ability to share, like, or comment on posts has apparently proved a stumbling block.

Against this backdrop, Facebook's habit of copying Snapchat features and building them into its own apps has only weakened the uniqueness of Snap's offering in the social media landscape - a key factor of the company's business model. It remains to be seen exactly what a redesign will mean for Snapchat and its users, and no timeline for the rollout has been made public.

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Snap Might Buy Zero Zero, Company Behind Hover Camera Drone Sold Exclusively at Apple Stores

Snapchat parent company Snap is in talks to purchase Zero Zero Robotics, the company that created the $500 Hover Camera Passport Drone that's currently sold exclusively at Apple retail stores and Apple.com, reports The Information.

The Hover Camera Passport is an ultra lightweight drone that's designed to work as a personal camera, following closely behind a person and capturing hands-free photos and videos using face and body tracking. Given its small size (242 grams) and its foldable carbon fiber body, the Hover Camera Passport can go essentially anywhere.


If Snap establishes a deal with Zero Zero Robotics, the Hover Camera Passport and future related products would join Snap's existing Spectacles, which are camera-equipped sunglasses meant to capture short videos and upload them to Snapchat.


Right now, the Hover Camera Passport is exclusive to Apple Stores, and Apple has inked a deal with Zero Zero that has made demo products available in many Apple retail stores around the world. Should Snap purchase Zero Zero, the latter company's deal with Apple would presumably end.


Zero Zero is said to have approached Snap in an effort to secure additional funding, but a potential purchase price isn't available. Snap has reportedly been looking into acquiring drone companies since mid-2016, and has already purchased one small drone maker in Los Angeles.


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Snap’s Camera Spectacles Now Available Through Amazon

After debuting exclusively inside special pop-up vending machines last year before becoming available as direct web orders, Snap has now begun selling its video-recording Spectacles through Amazon for the first time.


When synced with the Snapchat mobile app, users can tap a button on the Spectacles to begin recording a 10, 20, or 30-second video, which is saved in the "Memories" section of the app and can be revisited and posted to their Story.

As of writing, the $129.99 Spectacles are in stock on July 23 and come in Coral, Black and Teal, and include a charging case, charging cable, cleaning cloth, and Quickstart guide. All Spectacles also come with a one-year warranty.

According to Snap, Spectacles can capture up to 100 Snaps on one charge, and the charging case can hold up to four full charges at a time.

Amazon is an affiliate of MacRumors and this site may benefit if you click product links in the article.

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Snapchat Spectacles Now Available to Purchase Across Europe

Snap made its Spectacles available across Europe today, almost seven months after the company debuted them in the U.S.

For anyone unfamiliar with Snapchat's first hardware product, the Spectacles are a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses that can record 10 seconds of video at a time and sync wirelessly with the mobile Snapchat app.


More than 55 million people use Snapchat daily in Europe for at least 30 minutes a day, according to Snap. It's unclear what sales number the company is targeting on the continent, given that the launch of the Spectacles in the U.S. didn't raise significant revenue, but today's rollout comes as part of a planned substantial investment in the product's marketing and distribution.

The camera-equipped sunglasses cost £130/150 euros and can be purchased from the product website or through "Snapbot" vending machines, which will appear on Friday in London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Venice. The vending machines dispense the Spectacles in either Black, Coral or Teal, and allow customers to try them on virtually using a built-in augmented reality display. A case and charging cable are included.


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Snapchat Spectacles Now Available to Purchase Across Europe

Snap made its Spectacles available across Europe today, almost seven months after the company debuted them in the U.S.

For anyone unfamiliar with Snapchat's first hardware product, the Spectacles are a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses that can record 10 seconds of video at a time and sync wirelessly with the mobile Snapchat app.


More than 55 million people use Snapchat daily in Europe for at least 30 minutes a day, according to Snap. It's unclear what sales number the company is targeting on the continent, given that the launch of the Spectacles in the U.S. didn't raise significant revenue, but today's rollout comes as part of a planned substantial investment in the product's marketing and distribution.

The camera-equipped sunglasses cost £130/150 euros and can be purchased from the product website or through "Snapbot" vending machines, which will appear on Friday in London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Venice. The vending machines dispense the Spectacles in either Black, Coral or Teal, and allow customers to try them on virtually using a built-in augmented reality display. A case and charging cable are included.


Discuss this article in our forums

Snapchat Spectacles Now Available to Purchase Across Europe

Snap made its Spectacles available across Europe today, almost seven months after the company debuted them in the U.S.

For anyone unfamiliar with Snapchat's first hardware product, the Spectacles are a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses that can record 10 seconds of video at a time and sync wirelessly with the mobile Snapchat app.


More than 55 million people use Snapchat daily in Europe for at least 30 minutes a day, according to Snap. It's unclear what sales number the company is targeting on the continent, given that the launch of the Spectacles in the U.S. didn't raise significant revenue, but today's rollout comes as part of a planned substantial investment in the product's marketing and distribution.

The camera-equipped sunglasses cost £130/150 euros and can be purchased from the product website or through "Snapbot" vending machines, which will appear on Friday in London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Venice. The vending machines dispense the Spectacles in either Black, Coral or Teal, and allow customers to try them on virtually using a built-in augmented reality display. A case and charging cable are included.


Discuss this article in our forums

Snapchat Spectacles Now Available to Purchase Across Europe

Snap made its Spectacles available across Europe today, almost seven months after the company debuted them in the U.S.

For anyone unfamiliar with Snapchat's first hardware product, the Spectacles are a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses that can record 10 seconds of video at a time and sync wirelessly with the mobile Snapchat app.


More than 55 million people use Snapchat daily in Europe for at least 30 minutes a day, according to Snap. It's unclear what sales number the company is targeting on the continent, given that the launch of the Spectacles in the U.S. didn't raise significant revenue, but today's rollout comes as part of a planned substantial investment in the product's marketing and distribution.

The camera-equipped sunglasses cost £130/150 euros and can be purchased from the product website or through "Snapbot" vending machines, which will appear on Friday in London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Venice. The vending machines dispense the Spectacles in either Black, Coral or Teal, and allow customers to try them on virtually using a built-in augmented reality display. A case and charging cable are included.


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Snapchat Spectacles Now Available to Purchase Online for $130

After debuting exclusively inside special pop-up vending machines last year, Snapchat has today begun selling its video-recording Spectacles online for $129.99. Like in the vending machines, the Spectacles come in Coral, Black and Teal, and include a charging case and cable. At the time of writing, shipping estimates sit at a delivery time within the next 2-4 weeks.


Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said that the response to the Spectacles has been positive ever since the vending machines began appearing in California and New York. But, as TechCrunch uncovered in Snap's IPO filing, the company mentioned that "the launch of Spectacles . . . has not generated significant revenue for us." The filing further stated: "We expect to experience production and operating costs related to Spectacles that will exceed the related revenue in the near future."
“As Evan shared in his interview with the WSJ, when we launched, the idea was : ‘We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,’ says Spiegel. ‘It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.’ Response has been positive since November’s launch so we’re now happy to be able to make Spectacles more readily available — especially for those in the US who have not been able to make it to a Snapbot.”
When synced with the Snapchat mobile app, users can tap a button on Spectacles to begin recording a ten-second video, which is saved in the "Memories" section of the app and can be revisited and posted to their Story. Even though distribution has been added online, Snapchat said that customers can still expect the vending machines to appear at random new locations in the future, after they have a "brief nap."


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Hey Snapchat, just sell Spectacles normally already, will ya?

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What started out as a fun, entertaining way to get people hyped about Spectacles is now just frustratingly annoying.

That’s right, I’m talking about how Snapchat Snap is still milking Spectacles out with its extremely limited release using Snapbot vending machines. 

It’s been three weeks already. Either sell me the damn camera glasses without me needing to stalk your website or I’m throwing my money on other more useful gadgets, like a pair of Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones for my headphone jack-less iPhone 7.

Look, I always give credit where credit is due. And Snapchat certainly deserves a great amount of credit for its guerrilla campaign for Spectacles. Read more…

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Snapchat drops another Spectacles vending machine

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Congratulations, California. You now have yet another chance at getting Snap’s coveted video-camera sunglasses Spectacles.

The Snapbot, an interactive vending machine, has appeared in downtown Los Angeles, the company revealed Thursday afternoon. 

The location is inside Skyspace LA, an open-air observation deck in the U.S. Bank Tower that features a glass slide on the exterior of the building nearly 1,000 feet up.

You can’t hold your phone or a GoPro while on the slide — unless it’s strapped on — but apparently you can wear Spectacles. Read more…

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