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Higher Ed Marketing Memos by Sandra Ordonez

Spectacles & Snapchat 101

Last month, Snap, Inc. launched a product called Spectacles, a pair of colored sunglasses with a built in camera that allows users to shoot 10-second clips hands-free. Mashable recently named Snapchat Spectacles the Best Tech of 2016 but what are they and how do they work?

Using Spectacles, you can record video snippets and upload wirelessly to Snapchat via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, which allows a user to share phone-free moments with their friends on the mobile app. The wide 115-degree angle lens is also a nice touch, adding to the human experience. There is no need to pull your phone out when you want to capture a special moment, simply snap and share!

Where can you get a pair of Spectacles?

To purchase a pair, you need to locate a Snapbot, a unique vending machine that dispenses the Spectacles in three different colors: coral, black, or teal for $129.99 plus tax per pair. Due to the exclusivity of the product, it has become a hot commodity.

Fortunately for me, I was able to obtain a pair of Spectacles last month when they announced their first ever pop-up store in New York City.

Snap's Spectacles: sun glasses with a camera to let you snap on the go

Specs let you capture the moment from your perspective – without having to stop what you’re doing. Source: support.spectacles.com.

First higher ed marketing experiments with Spectacles

After experimenting with the pair of Spectacles myself, I definitely see the value in the product. Using the pair of Spectacles, I was able to capture content directly from my perspective and share with my friends on Snapchat. It allowed me to segment authentic moments of my daily activity without any fuss and I knew immediately this would be a useful tool for storytelling.

That said, a few days later I recruited two students from NYU Tandon School of Engineering to test out the pair of Spectacles.

Since the Snaps are saved to Memories on Snapchat, you can be selective with the clips you want to share with your friends before publishing. You can also download the content and reshare on other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

The first set of videos shared featured a tour of their NYU Tandon’s MakerSpace, a collaborative workspace and lab for students with access to modern tools, from advanced software to milling machines to 3D printers. Needless to say, using the Spectacles in this space provided great content!

The following day we hosted a student takeover and showcased the life of a student at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The student captured an array of personal moments using the Spectacles from taking the New York City subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan to welding in preparation for his 2017 Baja SAE competition. He even used the Spectacles to showcase a virtual reality app NYU Tandon presents to the incoming freshmen class.

The possibilities are endless.

Should higher ed pros care about Spectacles?

According to Snap Inc.’s website, “On any given day, Snapchat reaches 51% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States” and as we approach 2017, social media administrators like myself need to take into account the importance of engaging the digital generation.

In the summer of 2016, Bloomberg Technology noted that ‘four-year-old Snapchat overtook ten-year-old Twitter’s user base with 150 million daily active users.” Rich media experience is here to stay. In the words of serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, “Document, Don’t create.”

Meet the Author: Sandra Ordonez

Sandra Ordonez is the Social Media Administrator at NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, New York with the Office of Marketing and Communications. She is also a graduate of Higher Ed Experts’ professional certificate program in Social Media Measurement for Higher Ed

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