Though Spectacles marked Snapchat’s foray into the gadget sector, as well as the company’s pivot from an ephemeral messaging app to a self-described “camera company,” the smart sunglasses launch may be just the beginning of its hardware ambitions.
Snapchat, which formed parent company Snap, Inc. ahead of its impending IPO this week that could value the company at as much as $22 billion, now has a drone in the works, according to a report in The New York Times, which cited three people briefed on the project. Such a device would presumably enable users to take aerial photos and videos, and then share that content via the Snapchat app. This is essentially the same service that Spectacles provide. (Snap made Spectacles available for purchase online late last month after the device was initially only available at pop-up vending machines).
A drone could represent another growth opportunity for Snap as competitors continue to clone its breakthrough feature: the ability to compile disappearing photo and video Stories that users can decorate with filters, effects, and other designs. In addition to Instagram’s massively popular Stories feature, WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned company, launched its own version of Stories last month.
The Times notes that there is no release date for Snap’s drone, and it is possible that the project — like many other gambles from today’s biggest tech companies — could ultimately be scrapped.
Rumors of the new product development arrive just as Snap is set to price shares for its IPO today, and then open trading on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow, reports the Times, in what is expected to be the biggest tech IPO since China’s Alibaba went public back in 2014.