Stock Market News Today 2018/09/08
Snap Inc is back at it with another line of new Spectacles eyewear to pair with messaging app Snapchat.
With human names, Snap’s new “Nico” and “Veronica” lenses both come in black with polarized lenses, sporting hands-free cameras that can capture up to 70 videos or hundreds of photos on a single charge. Photos are transferred to the Snapchat app on smartphones wirelessly. And similar to the Spectacles edition that debuted ahead of summer earlier this year, both sets of frames are water-resistant.
Snap (SNAP, +1.73%) clearly wants the fashion set to pick up on Spectacles this week, and it’s highly likely the frames will pop up on the social media feeds of fashion editors, models, front row celebrities, and influencers over the next week.
But beyond that, it’s questionable if “high-fashion” Spectacles will be anything more than a spectacle themselves. After all, Google famously brought its first set of connected eyewear — Google Glass — to a Diane Von Furstenberg show at New York Fashion Week in 2013 with high hopes of making the frames popular.
Regardless, Snap seems determined to make Spectacles happen. Since the wearables debuted ahead of the company’s IPO in 2017, Spectacles have always focused more on the cool factor than the tech hardware, subscribing more to a Warby Parker-aesthetic than anything we’ve seen out of Silicon Valley thus far.
Spectacles have also always been more reasonably priced for a wider market, starting at $149.99. Finally, a new feature could make Spectacles usage all the more worthwhile. Snap plans to add a new Snapchat feature later this fall, which will automatically curate Spectacles Snaps into a single Snapchat Story. Suffice to say, that could save users – and yes, influencers and other brands who base their businesses on social media – a lot of time and grunt work. It would also be something that Instagram couldn’t replicate – at least not right away unless Instagram releases some sort of wearable tech or headwear of its own.
Nico and Veronica Spectacles are now available, retailing for $199.99, in select countries worldwide.
Snap Inc.is taking another stab at camera glasses with the release of two new stylish designs for its Spectacles line on Wednesday — but investors still aren’t buying it.
Shares of the social media company fell to all-time lows on the news, reflecting larger concerns on the Street that Snap has little hope in regaining ground against Facebook Inc.’s (FB) Instagram and monetizing its photo and video sharing platform. SNAP reflects a 30.5% decline year-to-date (YTD), sharply underperforming its high-flying tech peers and the broader S&P 500, up 8% over the same period.
Snap’s Spectacles reflect the company’s larger goal of boosting engagement on its mobile application. The company indicates that users on average post 40% more photos and videos captured with the glasses. Snapchat has also made an effort to facilitate sharing on other platforms by adding automatic camera roll sales and allowing video exports to the conventional square and horizontal formats. This fall, a new feature will automatically curate the Spectacle highlights of the day and create a 24-hour story.
The Venice, California-based company has attempted to diversify its business as digital ad dollars continue to flow towards Instagram and other competitors. Instagram’s rival Stories platform now boasts twice the number of users and is growing six times faster than Snapchat. Meanwhile, a report from Cowen earlier this year showed Snap’s daily engagement down 7% over last year, while the platform ranked the lowest in a survey of ad buyers.
In July, rumors surfaced that Snap was working with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) to add a feature which would allow users to identify products, songs, and item barcodes and link them to product listings. The social media company is also reportedly mapping its expansion into the red-hot gaming industry and has doubled down on its internal Lens Studio to develop software for specialized augmented reality (AR) filters.