Snapchat Spectacles, Live Video on Instagram, Silicone Valley and the Election – This Week in Tech
This week was… interesting to say the least. As the United States went through an emotional roller coaster with the end of a dramatic presidential campaign season, the tech industry was on a crazy ride as well.
The Spectacles of Snapchat
Back in September, Snapchat announced their product Spectacles which are sunglasses with an integrated, wireless camera. Think a GoPro but in sunglasses form, specifically for Snaps. The Spectacles connect to your Snap via Bluetooth or WiFi, and transfer your recorded stories (“Memories”) directly into the app. What’s even more interesting is that any video you take with the Spectacles plays in a new circular format, which allows for a 115 degree field of view and can play on any device in any orientation.
The Spectacles will sell for $130 and will be sold at–get this–yellow vending machines called SnapBots. For now, these shades available only in these machines and each SnapBot will be placed in varying locations through the U.S. for only 24 hours. If you’re interested in picking up a pair, you can track the next SnapBot drop through the Spectacles website: Spectacles. You’ll also be able to virtually try them on before you buy–just go to Spectacles.com and scan the QR code. You’ll then unlock a Spectacles filter that you can “wear” in Snapchat to see how cool (or uncool) you’ll look with the sunglasses.
Loving the new @Spectacles ! pic.twitter.com/LpWJx7pk44
— Seth Gottlieb (@SethGottlieb) November 11, 2016
The line to buy @Snapchat‘s new @Spectacles here in Venice is more than 100 people deep. Lots of curious onlookers and impulse buyers. pic.twitter.com/8N2PT5Flim
— Sean Ludwig (@seanludwig) November 10, 2016
— Spectacles (@Spectacles) November 10, 2016
IG is getting Periscope-y
I’ve vocalized many times how the “Big 3” (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) social media sites are slowly merging unto themselves. Kinda like a game of snake where you gobble up everything while desperately trying not to eat yourself as you grow larger. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and friends is now throwing IG into the live video game. While the feature is not yet available, live video on Instagram will work similar to other apps; there will be a feed that indicates when people you follow are currently live streaming.
Considering Instagram has over 300 million daily active users, combined with the over a billion active users on Facebook (and the fact that Facebook owns IG); it was only a matter of time before live video descended upon Instagram.
How long until Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook merge to make SnapGramBook? InstaFaceChat? FaceSnapGram?
Silicon Valley Reacts to Election Results
The leaders of the tech world have had wildly varying reactions to the news of President-Elect…Tr…(I honestly cannot bring myself to say it). One of the more popular discourses through the media was that social media, particularly Facebook, were “to blame” for spreading Trump ideologies and “fake news” through the Internet and in turn, to the people that voted for Trump. Active users would know (or should be aware) that the Facebook feed algorithm often provides more of what you’re already liking or searching for, but also doesn’t (or can’t) distinguish between real and fake news and other forms of misinformation.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg countered saying, “I think the idea that fake news on Facebook—of which it’s a very small amount of the content—influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea”. I’d personally beg to differ about the “very small amount of content” comment as I think this is deflection at its highest order–but whatever you say Zuck!
The CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and more all offered up their public statements and letters to their employees, all echoing similar understandings that the election process has been “emotional” and “polarizing”. Nevertheless the overarching theme from Silicon Valley show that while they’re not exactly jumping for joy at the outcome, that they will continue being champions for all people and promote tolerance.
My favorite response however has to be from the GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney. While from a legal, HR, and PR standpoint his letter to employees would probably get a resounding “Delete This”; from a “Keeping it One Hunnid” perspective, Maloney is pretty lit. You can view the email below. Later, Maloney issued a public statement to provide further clarity. You can see it all here: GrubHub Election Response