When Snapchat announced its first wearable product, Spectacles, back in September 2016, it made a bold attempt to right the wrongs of Google’s nerdy, uncool Glass product by rolling out a hip and cool sunglasses accessory that could take pictures for your Snap story. A limited rollout began two months later, with each pair of camera-equipped Spectacles retailing for $130.
Less than a year later, Spectacles don’t seem as if they’ll become the must-have gadget Snapchat hoped they would be. In its earnings report for the second quarter of 2017, the messaging app said its “other revenue” segment, driven primarily by Spectacles, took in just $5.4 million between April and June. As outlets like Variety have noted, that translates to just 42,000 Spectacles sales, a decline from the 62,000 pieces of product Snapchat moved during the first quarter of the year.
The decline is especially grim given that Q2 2017 was the first full quarter in which Spectacles were available to all members of the general public. The wearable line had its public rollout in February, but interest has cooled since then, perhaps due to the steep price of the product.
What makes the decline of Spectacles extra dangerous for Snapchat is the fact that wearables are supposed to be a big part of the tech company’s brand going forward. When they were launched, the app simultaneously rebranded itself to become Snap Inc. That move signaled its intention to sell more than just disappearing messages.
The lumps Snapchat has taken since announcing its IPO earlier this year have been well-documented. The company’s audience is increasingly favoring Instagram, and its stock has plummeted with each piece of bad news.
Though the future of Spectacles seems bleak, Snapchat still hopes to launch other hardware products. Reports have surfaced that the tech company is working on a line of consumer drones — or at least it was back in March.