Snapchat Spectacles are now being sold online, at least in the United States. The long-anticipated Snapchat sunglasses featuring a built-in camera were announced fall but, until now, have been notoriously difficult to purchase.
Spectacles are available through the official website. A pair retails for $129.99 and comes with a charging case and cable.
The gadget is being sold by Snap, Inc., the company behind the wildly popular social media app Snapchat. Spectacles work with the app, allowing users to record videos and save them to the app.
Snapchat was first launched in 2011. The imaging messaging application was created by former Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown.
The app allows users to exchange videos, images, and text messages that self-delete. Anything shared through the application is only available for a short period of time, making it a popular app with children who don’t want parents snooping on their conversations.
Snapchat has also become widely used by publications and brand networks, which run public content on the social media platform.
Until now, Snapchat Spectacles have only been available at Snap Inc.’s New York city pop-up shop and via traveling vending machines called Snapbots. Both have been shut down, although TechCrunch reports that the vending machines will return.
“Snapbots will continue to land in surprising locations around the U.S. following a brief ‘nap’,” said a representative.
A spokesperson for Snap Inc. discussed the decision for making the Spectacles available for sale online.
“As Evan shared in his interview with the WSJ, when we launched, the idea was : ‘We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,’ says Spiegel. ‘It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.’ Response has been positive since November’s launch so we’re now happy to be able to make Spectacles more readily available — especially for those in the US who have not been able to make it to a Snapbot.”
Until now, Snapchat Spectacles have been more of a marketing ploy than a serious money earner for Snap Inc.
Now, however, “Snap wants to prove to investors in its upcoming IPO that Spectacles can earn money for its business, not just be a brand stunt.”
Selling the Spectacles from traveling vending machines and the pop-up store lent the gadget an air of exclusivity but did not earn much money for the company.
Snap Inc. recently filed for an IPO, which revealed that the Spectacles have not generated as much money as the company had hoped.
“The launch of Spectacles… has not generated significant revenue for us,” said Snap Inc. “We expect to experience production and operating costs related to Spectacles that will exceed the related revenue in the near future.”
Their SEC filing, which is available online, reveals that the company lost $514.6 million last year.
Expanding the availability of Snapchat Spectacles could be the saving grace the device needs and increase Snap Inc.’s valuation in the process.
Snap Inc. teased the online launch of the Spectacles via a countdown that had fans in a frenzy waiting for the big announcement.
When the company announced this morning that they were, indeed, making the Snapchat Spectacles available online, Snapchat users rushed to snap up a pair.
Snapchat Spectacles are currently limited to six pairs per household with an expected delivery date of two to four weeks.
[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]