Social Goes POV: Hands-On with Snap Spectacles

(cross-posted from the space150 blog)

This week Snap launched the much-hyped Spectacles with a single, subtle vending machine in Venice, CA.

We immediately ran over and grabbed a couple pair. And Adweek wrote not one, but two articles about it…

As we said in Adweek, these glasses are poised to reset expectations and expand the boundaries of how we share social video today. More simply put, everyday consumers can now see what it’s like to look through their best friend’s eyes — and maybe DJ Khaled or Kim Kardashian’s soon.


Snap learned three key lessons in the three years since the launch of Google Glass: 1) Focus on fashion. 2) Factor in privacy. 3) And leverage scarcity.

Google Glass prioritized utility over looks. Spectacles’ color palette pulls from the hottest colors of 2016.

People wearing Glass were dubbed “glassholes,” in part because the general public never knew when they were recording. Spectacles has an unmistakable recording light.

Glass cost $1500 and launched through one-on-one tech demos in frosted glass offices targeting technology nerds, like myself. Spectacles launched through a whisper campaign launch of a vending machine in Venice Beach and cost $130.

Spectacles have really one use, and Google’s Glass Explorer program was designed to expand the boundaries of the technology. They are simply different, in a very simple way.


Although Spectacles are intended for Snapchat-only, marketers should pay close attention to Snap’s overall impact on video production and consumption trends. There are leading indicators here worth noting.

Snapchat popularized the vertical video format, which caught many by surprise. Yet just this September brands began prioritizing vertical content for Facebook.

Vertical video has always been preferable on mobile phones, but never before did a social network — including YouTube — prioritize vertical video. But Snapchat made is the gold standard.

Now Snap is introducing first-person point-of-view through vertical social video — with no head-mounts or Go-Pros required.

If this popularizes as fast as vertical video, we could expect to see __{blank]____-eye-view video permeating not just Snapchat, but starting to come into other social channels and even TV production in the coming year.


First-person point-of-view content is some of the most compelling content for three reason: subject, location, and experience.

The old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” is now possible. Whether it’s your best friend, a celebrity, athlete or someone with an amazing job, we can now easily see what it’s like to be them. Marketers should rethink their spokesperson strategy immediately and get POV video options into their contracts.

Advertising often uses jaw-dropping locations to inspire, and now anyone can be transported there as if we are actually there. Marketers who are just now getting used to 360º perspective need to be thinking POV now, too.

POV experience is the golden ticket here. The opportunity to share a POV perspective when skydiving, firefighting, skateboarding, or baking a pizza is now just $130 away. Marketers should rethink story boards to bring viewers the experience of not just being there, but being that person.