Spectacles arrive in time for British summer
Snapchat’s Spectacles have finally launched in the UK, but will they be another failed gimmick like Google Glass or a genuine advance in tech?
Spectacles are a pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera that, at the touch of a button, records between 10 and 30 seconds of video. The footage goes straight into the Snapchat app on the user’s smartphone, where they can be shared on social or stored as a Memory.
The glasses have been available in the US since September last year and coffee chain Costa has already experimented with Spectacles branded content in the UK, taking users behind the scenes for a barista’s eye view of a coffee being prepared.
Whether more UK brands follow Costa – and brands in the US such as Hyatt, L’Oreal and Esquire – in producing Spectacles-specific content will ultimately determine whether this new venture succeeds or not.
Online shopping subject to ‘surge’ pricing?
The Uber model of surge pricing at times of peak demand – which also applies to travel booking, hotels and holidays – is now filtering down into other areas of e-commerce.
Data about everyone’s online shopping history is now being used to set prices for individuals visiting a variety of websites and algorithms are automatically adjusting prices of items in real time.
The price you see now might change in an hour and may also be different from the person who lives next door.
Websites such as camelcamelcamel.com is an Amazon price tracker, allowing users to see the fluctuations in ‘best buy’ pricing on the most popular of all e-commerce sites.
Skype adds new features to its calls
Skype has had to respond to the competition of messaging apps that now allow live video calls with a few new features of its own.
The new Skype features include text, sticker and emoji messaging and a ‘Stories’ feature that can be shared with contacts.
With the competition from social platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Messenger mean Skype has had to stay relevant to its users. Despite being a byword for video calls in the recent past, it already risks being left behind.
Stories the next step for influencers on Insta
Instagram Stories are being increasingly valued by brands over regular Insta posts by influencers.
Users like them for their authenticity and brands like them, not surprisingly, as they are getting so many views and offer something new and different. In figures released in April, it is now estimated that Instagram Stories has more than 200million users per day.
Instagram has made it possible for verified accounts to include a ‘swipe up’ option in Stories, enabling selected influencers to direct viewers to related product pages direct from an Insta Story.
Influencer marketing moves fast and with more and more influencers coming on board daily, finding a point of difference and relevance becomes harder. Stories offers something different right now – brands and Instagram alike are moving fast to capitalise.
Links all round on Insta
In a minor Instagram update, it is now possible for users to send links in direct messages.
This was not available previously.
In a further move to improve user experience on the social network, Instagram is also allowing images to be sent in direct messages in portrait and landscape, rather than cropping them.