| Sr Product Designer


Why Snap's Spectacles Delivery Approach Makes Sense

Less available items seem to be more valuable
— Dr. Susan Weinschenk

One thing that I admire about Snap, Inc is how they know and market to their customers. Their entire brand is built on the notion of ephemerality, that something is here one minute and then gone the next. Snapchat took a basic UX principle, scarcity, and transformed it into a business model. 

Initially, this brand identity was realized through the simple videos and photos of the Snapchat app, but with the evolution of the new Spectacles, Snap has created ephemerality in a physical form. 

The glasses themselves allow users to seamlessly sync 10 second snips to their Memories within the app, but the process of how Snap Inc releases the Specs to users is equally intriguing.

Minion-like vending kiosks called Snapbots are deployed in random locations. Users of Snapchat interested in a pair of Spectacles can only find these vending machines by going online to spectacles.com/map, signing up for a bot update, or being in the vicinity when the bot drops (and have their Snapchat app open).

If users go online to view the map, they can watch a snoozing bot with a countdown for the next deployment. Spectacles aren't sold through Snap online or in stores. Right now the bot is the only way to purchase them.

This limited-release strategy fits the Snap Inc's core business model and also speaks to their audience. This limited-release strategy builds excitement and engagement with Snap Inc's brand. 

Their initial product was a service for temporary, disappearing videos and photos, this method for their new product, Snapbot, is temporary and ephemeral as well.