Snap Introduced its First Camera-Embedded Wearable: Spectacles

Snap Inc., formerly known as Snapchat, best known for its transient messaging and photo-sharing social media app, introduced its latest product innovation, Spectacles. Spectacles is a bold-colored, camera-embedded wearable. It records videos in 10-second increments through a 115-degree camera lens.

In a video ad introducing the new hardware, a group of skateboard girls use Spectacles to document their sick moves as they weave around a Los Angeles skate park.

Snapchat Spectacles intro ad video

Video Ad for Spectacles

Videos captured with Spectacles fundamentally differ from their phone-captured counterparts because they are much closer to the user’s natural field of view. Spectacles also have a feature that allows users to easily sync videos with their smartphones to share with followers.

“It’s not about an accumulation of photos defining who you are,” says Spiegel. “It’s about instant expression and who you are right now. Internet-connected photography is really a reinvention of the camera. And what it does is allow you to share your experience of the world while also seeing everyone else’s experience of the world, everywhere, all the time.”

While Spectacles may seem like a fun and playful novelty item, Spiegel doesn’t see them this way. Spiegel believes they will change the future of photography. The young CEO hopes that Spectacles will make videos feel more like an archive of memories and less like bland snippets from a camera phone.

Spectacles features that allows users to sync video with phone

Sync Feature for Spectacles

Snap is yet to announce the availability of Spectacles. “We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,” stated Snap CEO, Evan Spiegel. “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.” What is known is that the initial production of these glasses is limited and comes with a $130 price tag. This is relatively inexpensive when you compare it to the $1,500 the search giant is asking for Google Glass.

Woman wearing Google Glass

Google Glass

It’s hard not to compare Spectacles to Google Glass. Their resemblance is similar, in that they are both glasses. However, their functionality is worlds apart. Google Glass is advertised as a wearable that changes one’s experience by augmenting reality. Spectacles on the other hand is a wearable made specifically to document experiences from a first person perspective. It has been over three years since the release of Google Glass, so perhaps the masses have had enough time to warm up to the idea of wearables.

What is Next?

While Snap stated that the stock will be limited, there are rumors that the now camera company will consider an initial public offering in the near future. Earlier this month, Snap apparently attended a meeting with investment banks and a new line of credit has been secured from Morgan and Stanley.

Since its inception in 2011, the company accumulated $2.5 billion worth of funding from a long list of investors which includes: SV Angel, Benchmark Capital, Sequoia, Light Speed Venture Partners and Spark Capital. Recently, Snap secured a $1.8 round in May at a valuation between $16 Billion to $22 Billion.

 

Snapchat to Shake the Ad Industry with Scannable Ads

Snapchat’s branded filters, which have been around for quite some time now, take advertisements to a whole new level. Many advertisers find branded filters to be an effective marketing medium because they make ads more fun and interactive by adding an augmented reality layer. But Snapchat isn’t stopping there; they keep finding methods to monetize the growing intersection of people and the digital world. Their latest ad concept, which encourages users to scan or “snap” an image to unlock content, could succeed where QR codes fail miserably.

“Snapchat is working on a new type of ad that would allow people to use their smartphone cameras to unlock special sponsored content in the app. The feature lets people scan an image or barcode on a poster or a website, which later gives them a special deal on a product, according to two people briefed on the company’s ad strategy.”

— Tom Dotan and Amir Efrati/The Information

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Snapchat Codes on the Rise 

Snapchat’s new marketing codes are just starting to pop up. These scannable ads invite people to scan them in exchange for promotional add-ons.

Snapchat expects that this innovation will boost engagement rates for ads and will resonate with marketers. Many brands are still skeptical of the platform’s ability to deliver meaningful media tactics beyond top funnel branding tactics.  

One of Snapchat’s longtime advertisers, Universal Pictures, is among the first to test “Snap to Unlock” for its new movie “The Girl on the Train.” According Doug Neil, exec VP of digital marketing at NBC Universal, mysterious billboards will be showing up around subways in New York and Washington, D.C. and in some parts of Los Angeles.

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Mr. Neil stated that QR codes failed miserably because they were at a disadvantage. Users and consumers had to scan them with dedicated applications, all of which needed to be installed for the sole purpose scanning the QR codes. Snapchat on the other hand, is already installed across millions of active users’ phones.

Snapchat users are assigned a snapcode of their own that friends can scan, making it easier it to follow each other.

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“Snapchat is a little more ubiquitous and kids do love the discovery aspect of the Snapcode,” Mr. Neil stated. “So this could be a bigger play there.” This could change the whole advertising field.

Coca Cola Company has already used snap codes on Sprite soda cans as part of their marketing strategy. Users are instructed to scan the snap codes to unlock special discounts.

The Future of Snapcodes

According to Chris Tuff, director of business development at 22squared, it is  expected that more movie studios, fashion brands and retailers will follow suit with the use of snapcodes.

“You could get a code on your receipt or it could be on a sign at the store,” Mr. Tuff stated. “And you could get an exclusive filter for 24 hours, so there’s exclusivity and the ability to share it. That makes sense for certain companies.”

“The Girl On the Train” snapcodes on billboards will on have the words: “What happened that night.”

The downside of these snapcodes is that a civilian may not make sense of the ad if he doesn’t know how Snapchat works. Once the user snaps the code, he’ll be taken to special geofilters.

Further development is expected to be done in the “Snap to Unlock” feature.  Advertisers’ snapcodes could lead to deeper content offers like animated lenses, Snapchat’s popular feature that adds special visual effects to video selfies.

Noah Mallin, head of social at MECNorth America stated that while snapcodes may seem fun and playful, they could be helpful to marketers with measuring how well their Snapchat campaigns perform, particularly if they send out offers that lead people redeem them in stores.

“QR codes are one of those things everyone laughs about but Snapchat found an interesting way to reinvent them,” Mr. Mallin added. “They’re taking a real-world interaction and making it actionable on the platform.”

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Vine Tips episode 7 is here and this week the importance of engaging with fans is discussed.

5 Pitfalls That Will Sink Your Influencer Campaign

By Alison Lukin

But how do you choose the right one for you? Do you pick the one with the most followers? Most active audience? Wackiest videos? Prettiest face?

By taking just 5 elements into consideration, you can guarantee that your money and efforts will be well spent:

1. Relevance Not Rock Stars: While you may love Jenna Marbles and be all up in her YouTube channel, take a moment to analyze whether she’d really be the best person to promote your line of nutrition supplements.

When deciding on an influencer, the #1 element to take into consideration is how deeply specialized they are in your specific topic. For example, if you are in the field of nutrition, do your research on long tail influencers who are specifically geared towards healthy eating and physical wellness. That way, you have the best chance of having them be sincerely interested in your product and want to form a relationship with you.

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2. Size Doesn’t Matter: While, of course, you want to partner with an influencer who has a larger following; they don’t have to have millions to be beneficial. As long as their audience is active, that’s what garners a great ROI.

We discussed this topic in last week’s blog post where we compared the results of two campaigns using very different approaches.  

Check out their various social media platforms and see how many likes, comments, and shares their posts get. As the image below shows, a long tail influencer with a smaller dedicated audience is much better than a large one that doesn’t pay much attention.

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3. Don’t Fall Off Your Platform: Make sure your influencer is active and engaging on the platform in which you’re launching the next campaign. If your company is investing in a big Vine push, search for influencers in your market who are the strongest on Vine specifically. Never assume since your potential partner is a great Instagrammer, they’ll be equally as popular across the board.

Especially lesser known faces can have a huge following on one platform and be virtually unknown on another. Just because Viner Brittany Furlan would look hot in your latest swimsuit line, that won’t mean much on Twitter.

4. Don’t Rob The Cradle: Let’s face it. The vast majority of people who are heavily involved in social media are part of a younger demographic. Is your product best geared for twenty-somethings? Then you’re golden.

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But what if it’s not? You can have equal success in marketing your product or service on social media if you choose the proper influencer. Even though the young’uns do hold a lot of power, there is a HUGE pool of influencers spanning every decade of age. Your forty-something mommy audience probably won’t appreciate the antics of @Nashgrier, but hook up with @WhatsUpMoms and you’ll be on the right track.

5. Still Chugging: With a good decade of social media under our belts, quite a few influencers have come and gone. Someone may still have 100K followers hanging around, but it doesn’t mean they still nurture those relationships. But how do you tell?

Check out all of their channels. Do they blog? If so, when was the last time they did, and how often do they post? Peruse their social networks and check the same criteria. How often do they post and when was the last time they did? Do they respond to comments? In order for a collaboration to be beneficial, your influencer needs to be doing all of these things currently.

Lastly, don’t forget to sift through the audience you already have. You may have an influencer among them that you don’t even know about.

Once you start making these relationships, be sure to track your progress. Does your influencer’s share really increase sales? Did that Vine video you paid for increase your social following?

Relevance.com feels, “Being able to measure your influencer engagement program’s impact on sales, customer life time value or churn reduction is the holy grail of influencer marketing.”

It’s all about trial and error when it comes to finding the right influencer. That’s why the long tail influencers that may not break your bank as much are the right way to go, especially when you’re just starting out. And they’re much more within reach to create relationships with.

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“Influencer marketing is about creating meaningful relationships with influencers, and this is a matter in which common sense and intuition can never be replaced. But, as in many other disciplines, measurement is here to fine-tune strategies and tactics, evaluate performance and sharply increase ROI,” states Relevance.com.

Is there a “magic formula” to choosing the right influencer? Of course not. Use your judgment and take the first step in forming good relationships. If you find one that clicks, come up with a plan, and measure your positive results!

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Today’s Vine talent of the day is also a dance instructor?  Maybe he should stick to comedy or get new students!  @iam_jeremyscott

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Today Vine talent of the day is @iam_jeremyscott – a great sense of humor and also some musical talent perhaps.  Check out his version of the cup song.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  To celebrate – cheers to @arron_crascall who makes us laugh with these short comedic skits.

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Big Entertainment Comes in Small Packages.  Learn more on this week’s edition of Vine Tips.

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Last one from today’s featured Vine talent of the day.  It seems Corey Scherer enjoys picking on his parents.  This looks to be a candid look at his Dad rapping.

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More from today’s featured Vine talent – Corey Scherer.  Love his style of comedy….everyone can relate to parents just not getting it.