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EDITORIAL: Snapchat jumps the shark ... again



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Snapchat, now known as Snap Inc., just announced it is launching a new project: a pair of video-capturing glasses called Spectacles.

The glasses capture 10 seconds of film at a time and send it to your phone to post on Snapchat or send to friends.

They run at about $130 and make the wearer look like a mix between the lovable tech-specs-sporting Cookie from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and Redfoo, who is half responsible for the song “Sexy and I Know It.”

Needless to say, we think they are pretty stupid.

The glasses are a physical manifestation of Snapchat’s struggle to stay relevant and fresh.

The introduction of new filters every so often can be fun and keep users engaged, but Snap Inc. has proven it can and will go too far with these, too. Some of these new filters included a yellow face effect and a filter to match users’ facial features to those of Bob Marley — skin color included.

Yikes.

Snapchat also once tried to be Venmo with a widely mocked idea of sending money between users with something called Snapcash.

It seems that with Spectacles, Snap Inc. is attempting to tap into the same demographic of consumers that would be interested in GoPro products. However, instead of selling to mountain explorers, the company may find a more likely customer in the millennial prankster population.

The nerd goggles don’t just look silly and are unnecessary for the brand, but they also seem cumbersome to use, despite what their totally sick skateboarding promo would have you believe.

Users must take the video on the glasses, sync the recording to their phone and then from the phone can send it to other users or to their Snapchat story.

That is an extra step that could be circumvented easily. By simply holding your phone up to your eye level, you can create the exact same effect with no Spectacles-to-smartphone sync.

Obviously, holding your phone up to your eyeball like that would not exactly be discreet, but maybe that is a good thing.

Snap Inc.’s Spectacles, while pretty dorky, do look in fact look like sunglasses. Their inconspicuousness means that someone could be filming someone else without their consent or knowledge, which creates a host of privacy issues.

We can already see the lawsuits against Spectacles-wearers who take videos of compromising situations or that incriminate attendees of a —ahem — raucous party.

Overall, these so-called hipster glasses create more issues for the user and those surrounding them than, with a pricetag of $130, they are worth.

Snap Inc. should stop trying to be something else and stick to what it’s good at, which is facilitating the exchange of double chin pictures between you and your friends.

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