Snap Expands Hardware, Sells Spectacles In Europe

Along with placing physical vending machines in select cities like London and Paris, the self-described “camera company” is hawking the video-capturing sunglasses online at

For the privilege of owning a pair of the trendy shades, Snap is charging European customers nearly $170 -- about $50 more than U.S. consumers pay for the eyewear.

Stateside, online shoppers have been able to purchase Spectacles since February. Previously, Snap sold the glasses via vending machine.

Spectacles can record 10-second video snippets, which are designed to approximate one’s natural field of vision. That's thanks to a 115-degree lens, which records circular video.

To date, no company has been able to convince a critical mass of consumers to wear connected gadgets on their faces.

Google notoriously spent millions of dollars in development and marketing dollars before giving up on its Glass initiative. Yet Snap seems to have learned a few things from Google's failure.

Spectacles’ price tag is far more reasonable than the $1,500 that Google charged for Glass. Snap’s glasses are also being sold as a single-purpose device, which is historically much easier to market.

Unlike Google, Snapchat currently enjoys a strong bond with young consumers -- the ideal demographic for starting trends and popularizing products.

As a public company, Snap is under pressure to generate revenue streams beyond advertising.

Analysts were not happy with the company’s first earnings report, last month. While revenue of $149.6 million was way up, year-over-year, it was less that the $158 million they were anticipating.

Snap also revealed a quarterly net loss of about $2.2 billion, which it blamed on “stock-based compensation.” On the news, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel admitted: “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Supporting future growth, Spiegel is betting on faster mobile connections and Snap’s ability to continue “removing friction from the creative process.”

Year-over-year, Snap saw Snapchat daily active users (DAUs) increase 36% from to 166 million, in the first quarter. From the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, DAUs increased by 5%. Year-over-year, average revenue per user (ARPU) rose 181% to $0.90, in the first quarter.

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