Snapchat’s own data explains why Spectacles failed

In this posting from the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program, MediaCom's Alex Kirk crunches the numbers to find out why the photo-sharing app's zaniest product vanished in a flash

There are plenty of pieces out there pontificating over why Snapchat Spectacles failed, leaving thousands of units unsold.

But while commentators have used their awesome powers of hindsight to point at marketing, timing, competition or teenagers’ fickle tastes, there seems to be a far simpler reason.

That reason appeared in plain sight last week, in among data contained in a piece of Snap Inc-commissioned research. For me, the one simple (and rather banal) reason Spectacles didn’t catch on is simply that people use Snapchat in places where sunglasses make you look like a twerp.

When the top five places where people use your product are a combination of indoors, underlit, or nocturnal, using tinted glass might have been the fatal mistake.

Snapchat have proved themselves *superbly* adept at both creating waves in and then surfing the zeitgeist, so much so that their competitors are obliged to reverse-engineer their ostensibly crazy ideas out of pure fear. However, while Snapchat took vertical video mainstream, invented the Story, and made grownup-defying UX a feature, making it cool to wear sunglasses indoors at night was a bridge too far, even for them.

One crash-and-burn doesn’t tell the whole story of course, and Snapchat remains one of the braver companies out there. I’ll just bet that there’s something equally as daft in the works right now, something the kids will get instantly but I won’t understand at all.

Alex Kirk is Head Of Systems & Automation at MediaCom

To see more pieces from the LinkedIn agency influencer program click the image below.


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