Snap Building Next-Generation Spectacles, But Only for Developers For Now
Snap is building next-generation AR Spectacles although, for the time being, they will only be available for developers, an internal memo shows.
The Verge has gotten its hands on a leaked internal memo in which Snap CEO Evan Spiegel explains how the company plans to attain $6 billion in revenues and grow to up to 450 million users.
The memo details the company’s current challenges along with its future turnaround plans.
The internal memo was blasted out to its employees on September 6th and was obtained by The Verge. The memo says the company is planning to grow Snapchat’s user base by 30% to hit 450 million by the end of 2023. The company is also planning to grow its revenues in 2023. Snap wants $350 million of this revenue to be generated from the paid subscription that the platform introduced recently to unlock extra features. By the end of this year, it is set to hit 4 million subscribers.
In the 4,000-word memo to its employees, Spiegel wrote that the company hedged its bets accordingly after seeing the challenges “on the horizon” following the hard economic realities of 2022. Some of the challenges he cites include the War in Ukraine, rising energy and food costs, consistently high inflation as well as a 45-fold increase in the fed funds rate from last September. The Snap boss states that the company must adapt and overcome in order to succeed under the new realities.
The memo states that Snap will be focusing on increasing its penetration in at least a single “new large territory or demographic” and onboarding more 30- to 40- year-olds to realize its user growth targets.
Snap also wants to funnel additional users into Snapchat’s Map and Spotlight sections to help make the company’s service more compelling for its community, difficult to copy, more resilient to its competition, and increase the company’s monetization opportunity over the long haul.
Snap has recently chopped off 20% of its workforce, a brutal layoff in which the company cut off all teams and projects such as its recent camera drone. However, the Spiegel memo states that the company is still committed to augmented reality which he says “represents the next major evolution in computing.” The memo also says that the company’s next generation of its Spectacles augmented reality glasses is also under development.
He states that augmented reality leadership is important for the company to help it build a “durable competitive advantage” that emerges from long-term investments and from developing technically difficult things and growing a platform that is not easy to replicate. The memo says augmented reality investments and leadership also position Snap to derive benefits from “the next major platform shift” where we will move from mobile to wearables.
Below is a look at some of the main points in the Snap memo: –
- The company is aiming to grow the time users spend on content by 10% per user in 2023.
- Snap wants 35% of its users to interact daily with the Map tab in Snapchat. It is also aiming to have 30% of its users on the TikTok competitor Spotlight, daily, next year.
- Snap aims to generate $6 billion in revenues as well as $1 billion in free cash flow in 2023.
- The company aims to have revenues from its AR-based advertising business account for 10% of its total ad revenues in 2023.
- Snap aims to increase the number of people using its AR effects, the Lenses, in other apps to 1 billion users per month in 2023.
- Snap will set up an Augmented Reality enterprise division aimed at selling its technology to other companies.
- Snap is planning to assist developers confidentially explore the possibilities that will be unearthed by its next generation of Spectacles. This statement implies that the company’s next Spectacles generation will not be commercially available for sale.
The current Spectacles generation was launched more than one year ago. It is a standalone smart glass that is built with two cameras for spatial tracking of the world and for hand tracking and video capture. It hits up to a maximum of 2000 nits of brightness and is, thus, one of the few augmented reality devices that can be used outdoors. However, the current generation of Snap’s Spectacles has a very small field of view of just 26.3 degrees diagonal and the battery lasts for only 30 minutes. The current Snap Spectacles cannot be purchased commercially and can only be accessed by developers who successfully apply. From the Snap memo, it is clear Snap’s next generation of Spectacles will also follow the same strategy, at least in the beginning.
To read Spiegel’s full statement in the memo, check out this article and scroll to the bottom.
The memo shows that despite recent challenges, the company still has a commitment to augmented reality and Spiegel has described the