Snapchat launches video-sharing glasses, becomes Snap Inc.

Snapchat is expanding. In addition to a new name, the brand will offer a virtual reality product. Learn how the rebrand might level the social media marketing playing field.

The social media world’s one-trick pony has a new move.

Over the weekend, Snapchat executives announced a major rebranding effort and launched a new product—Spectacles.

The organization behind the popular video-and photo-sharing platform will now be known as Snap Inc.

From The Next Web:

To coincide with the release of its second product, Snapchat Inc. has undergone a major rebranding. From now on, the main body that oversees both Snapchat and Spectacles’ day-to-day activity will be known as Snap Inc.

From Snap Inc.’s chief Evan Spiegel:

Changing out name also has another benefit: When you search for our products it will be easier to find relevant product information rather than boring company information or financial analysis. You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd.

The “fun stuff” is a big reason why some social media proponents think the rebrand will succeed.

From Fast Company senior writer Mark Wilson:

Fun is certainly not the only reason Snap is getting into wearables, but fun is why they’ll be a hit—at least compared to other techie glasses like Glass. Rather than attempting to disguise the wearable as a normal pair of glasses, or position it as a serious product, the company is embracing the sensational side of the concept. If there’s one company that’s capable of making you look like an idiot in public for fun—making faces at your own camera and totally not caring that you do—it’s Snap.

Here’s what the $130 recording device glasses can do:

The Next Web reports:

Content recorded using the glasses is automatically pushed to the Memories section of the Snapchat application in a new circular video format — which can be played full screen in any orientation — via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

As far as marketing goes, Spiegel says Snap’s virtual reality-inspired product is going for something different than its competitors—Facebook, Apple and Google.

From Mashable:

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told the Journal that recording video or taking pictures with a phone puts “a wall in front of your face.” Spectacles, on the other hand, will allow wearers to record without holding anything, so they can really show off that brunch or keg stand.

Tearing down that wall makes a whole lot of sense for Snap. While far fewer people use Snapchat than Facebook overall— 150 million every day versus Facebook’s 1.13 billion—the app has recently exploded in popularity across age groups, and it’s become known as the place where people share personal content.

The millennial effect

Many brand managers use Snapchat to engage with younger consumers through sponsored lenses, filters and live stories.

A recent report from eMarketer projects Snapchat’s ad revenue to reach $1 billion in 2017—a significant increase from the $366 million from this year.

The platform struggles to compete with more established social media brands including Facebook and Twitter—especially when it comes to targeting and measurement.

From eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle:

Snapchat has improved its targeting capabilities and partnered with 11 measurement firms to address the concerns voiced early on. What it has yet to prove is whether it can consistently deliver a better return on investment for advertisers than other social networks.

Like Snap has done, brand managers must adapt to the increasing number of millennial consumers that use virtual reality to interact.

As adversities increase their social media spending, Snap’s rebrand comes at a good time. Snapchat Spectacles gives the platform a chance to compete with the likes of Facebook because it presents a more unique engagement opportunity.

Here’s how, from The Verge:

Spectacles are less than one-tenth what Google Glass cost, making them much more accessible. Snap is positioning the glasses as less of a face computer and more as a GoPro for your life. Facebook and its subsidiaries are raiding its flagship app for parts, which seems likely to blunt Snap’s growth, especially internationally. Snap needs a second act, and hardware like this can have very good profit margins — and be quite difficult to copy.

What do you think of the Snap Inc. rebrand, Ragan readers?

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