Snapchat is aiming to expand the market for its Spectacles sunglasses, offering them via Spectacles.com, reported The Wall Street Journal.
According to a report, the move to sell the sunglasses online starting Monday (Feb. 20) comes on the exact day that the messaging app company is closing a pop-up store in New York City. The paper noted the pop-up store was often filled with more employees than actual customers. The move also comes as Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, is gearing up to launch an IPO and send out marketing material about its business to mutual funds and hedge funds. The Spectacles were launched in November and sent the message the company is looking to move beyond social media. The sunglasses go for $130, are one-size-fits-all and are equipped with a camera that can record as long as 30 seconds of video that can then be uploaded to Snapchat.
When Snapchat launched the glasses, they sold them only through vending machines at places like the Grand Canyon and then in February started selling them in big cities, including Seattle. While the glasses were well-received in the beginning, WSJ noted, the novelty is wearing off among early adopters with the price declining to $180 from $900 on eBay. One user, Justin Wu, who used the glasses when they were first launched, told WSJ he finds it a “cumbersome” process to wait for the video to be published on Snapchat, and now, he uses the glasses as sunglasses only. A spokeswoman for Snap told the paper the startup continues to make improvements on the glasses, such as making the videos people share via the Spectacles better than before.
Meanwhile, the company’s executives are also lowering expectations, with Cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel calling Spectacles a “toy” in an interview with WSJ Magazine back in September.