Snapchat is changing its name to Snap, and expanding its horizons beyond its core messaging app.
The first step will be ‘Spectacles’.
‘Spectacles’ (Price: $129.99) are sunglasses with a built-in camera, which can record first person footage in ‘circular’ video, ending need to choose between filming in portrait or landscape.
Wall Street Journal was the first to break this news.
In a news release, Snapchat described Spectacles as “the best way to make memories … hands-free, with the simple tap of a button.” It put up a bare-bones website to announce the product, Spectacles.com, and says the video glasses will be “landing soon.” It hasn’t supplied ordering information.
The news suggests Snap is stepping up the fight against Facebook, its chief rival. Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality, and it purchased Oculus VR — the biggest name in embarrassing headsets — for $2 billion in 2014. Spectacles are a much smaller deal, but they prove that Snap Inc. is prepared to move beyond its social-sharing app and into hardware.
Here’s how Snapchat chief executive Evan Spiegel explained the name change in a blog post:
”When we were just getting started it made sense to name our company Snapchat Inc., because Snapchat was our only product! Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product – but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand.
We decided to drop the “chat” and go with Snap Inc!
Changing our name also has another benefit: when you search for our products it will be easier to find relevant product information rather than boring company information or financial analysis. You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd :)”