Snapchat has revealed a limited and unique distribution strategy for its recently launched camera-equipped Spectacles, announcing that the glasses will be sold via special pop-up vending machines dubbed ‘Snapbots’.
Remaining true to the messaging app’s ephemeral nature, the vending machines will pop up in “fun and surprising” locations throughout the US for 24-hours only, with the first activation taking place today (10 November) in Venice Beach. Snapchatters can find upcoming landing spots via a special map on company’s website.
Retailing at $130, the Snapbots accept debit or credit cards, and will process customers’ purchase in around 10 seconds, according to the Spectacles support page.
There are three buttons on each machine corresponding to the three available colour options (coral, black or teal) and an augmented reality feature will let people virtually try on each colour on the screen before making their final choice and paying.
The company, which recently rebranded as Snap Inc, wants Snapchatter’s first experiences with Spectacles to tie in with its positioning as a product to make memories with, and the company has hinted that the locations the bots touch down in will be inspired by this concept.
The machines were designed by the Spectacles team and have been given a bit of a personality - so when a Snapchat ‘lands’ it will be sleeping - seemingly tired from a long journey through the sky.
As of yet, Snap Inc hasn't commented on distribution plans for UK and Europe and AdWeek has said that the vending machines "will represent Spectacles' only retail distribution for months."
The move follows on from comments made by Snap Inc chief strategy officer Imran Khan, who said he is keen to show the firm is "bigger than just one app".
"The biggest misconception that I hear about Snapchat is that Snapchat is just another social media company," he said, adding that Snap Inc believed "reinventing the camera" was its "greatest opportunity" to improve how people live and communicate.