Last year Snap Inc., the parent company operating the image messaging and multimedia mobile app Snahpchat, introduced their first dedicated accessory hardware for use with the video sharing platform. It was a pair of shades with cameras mounted on the lens frames, rather unimaginatively called Snapchat Spectacles. These glasses can take the signature 10-second video from literally their wearer’s point of view and transfer them via Wi-Fi connection to any phone or tablet that has a Snapchat app tuned to the user’s account. They’re a quirkily cool one-off item, but Snap Inc.’s original distribution scheme was so sporadic that the Spectacles became an unintended rarity.

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Now the company’s wised up and has made their product more available in a guaranteed venue: online.

Now on website

Initially, when Snap Inc. put their Spectacles – costing $129 a pop – on the market last November 2016, they concocted a rather unusual sales scheme. The things were only available exclusively through a proprietary designed pop-up vending machine that appeared at a certain location for only one day then disappeared to show up in another location. The vending machine gave buyers choices on the three available Spectacle colors (pink, black, and blue) and even an opportunity for them to “virtually” try out the items so buyers know how they work before they are dispensed. New York City meanwhile had a pop-up store with real people selling the Spectacles. Trouble was, this system was so time-consuming, causing long lines and disappointed customers when the #Vending Machines have moved away.

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To deal with this and the ensuing inventory problem, Snap Inc. has enabled their official Spectacles website to take online orders of their product. This was most welcome, especially with the closure of the NYC pop-up store. The “Snapbot” vending machines will still be making their “one day only” rounds in various US cities however, so those looking for a unique experience can pray it will pass in their hometown next.

Big growth

In a way, Snapchat and Snap Inc. have been growing by leaps and bounds. In addition to the “beefing up” or their app with new features and capabilities, along with the hardware expansion thanks to the Spectacles, the company has also begun building foundations of a truly global presence, like with the new international headquarters in London. And of course let’s not forget their going public with a respectable $3 billion IPO on the stock market. Things just keep looking up for Snapchat, and the wider distribution of Spectacles online can only help in their own little bid for social media domination.