Lou Adler, wearing Snapchat's Spectacles, attends a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Noel Vasquez—Getty Images,
By Alex Fitzpatrick
February 2, 2017

Snapchat’s Spectacles video-recording glasses became a minor phenomenon when they launched last November, boosted by a savvy marketing campaign built around scarcity. But the craze quickly died down — where it once took hours to grab a pair at the company’s New York City pop-up, now there’s nary a line.

Still, the company isn’t giving up on the concept. Here’s the relevant line in Snap, Inc.’s S-1 filing Thursday, which it made as it plans to become a publicly-traded company: “…We plan to significantly broaden the distribution of Spectacles, which will increase our costs and overall financial risk.”

Doubling down on Spectacles meshes with Snap’s new mission statement, which reads in part as follows:

Snap Inc. is a camera company.

We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way that people live and communicate. Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.

In the way that the flashing cursor became the starting point for most products on desktop computers, we believe that the camera screen will be the starting point for most products on smartphones. This is because images created by smartphone cameras contain more context and richer information than other forms of input like text entered on a keyboard. This means that we are willing to take risks in an attempt to create innovative and different camera products that are better able to reflect and improve our life experiences.

Our strategy is to invest in product innovation and take risks to improve our camera platform. We do this in an effort to drive user engagement, which we can then monetize through advertising. We use the revenue we generate to fund future product innovation to grow our business.

It’s weird to hear Snap describe itself as a “camera company,” considering the company says it barely makes money from Spectacles and that camera companies aren’t exactly Wall Street darlings right now. But if you’re excited about Spectacles, as many tech reviewers were when they launched, you’ll be glad to know the company isn’t giving up on them.

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