After filing for an IPO in early November, Snap Inc. is one of the most highly-anticipated market debuts of 2017. Snapchat, Snap’s messaging app, is forecasted to gross $1 billion in revenue in 2017, making its $20 to $40 billion valuation seem quite aggressive, despite user growth projections. While this target seems high, Snap’s newest product, Spectacles, introduces another dimension to Snap’s business strategy.
Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., has previously outlined Snap’s vision in creating a seamless messaging experience by bringing together three key components: content, communication, and camera. Spectacles is a key element of Snap’s mission to make the camera the core of content and communications. Accordingly, it allows users to shoot video from the viewpoint of a user, without the interruptions and limitations of a smartphone or handheld camera. Furthermore, users can import video directly to Snapchat with a bluetooth connection. Quite simply, Spectacles seems like an elegant solution towards elevating the content creation and sharing experience.
The launch of Spectacles has many implications for Snap’s current and future competitors. Even though Snap has been consistently identified as Facebook’s direct rival, Snap’s pivot towards rebranding itself as a “camera company” suggests that it may occupy the same space as hardware companies like GoPro. Both companies are looking to control the storytelling process, from content capture to content distribution. GoPro has an upper hand on content capture, with over a decade now in camera manufacturing. Snap, on the other hand, has an upper hand in distribution, with a social sharing app that connects over 150 monthly active users, most of which are millennials. Whether Spectacles is strong enough of a product to dominate and shape storytelling and social promotion is yet to be seen. The following infographic from influencer marketing company, Mediakix, breaks down Spectacles’ key specs and features as well as its potential for future investors: