My big 2017 prediction is Snapchat are working on a phone. A back to basics, stripped down mobile that only allows you to communicate through Snapchat.
There have been many high profile phone hacks in recent years, leading to a host of personal images being leaked. This has spurred many celebrities including Rihanna, Anna Wintour & Scarlett Johansson to adopt phones of the early 2000’s that forgo the usual accoutrement of modern devices. Combined with a growing fear over online privacy and security concerns and you have a growing population who are becoming afraid of their devices and how their data is stored.
Although Snapchat’s official word on their limited released Spectacles is that they are ‘a bit of fun’, I think this seriously indicates that the company is attempting a transition away from just another Social Networks and into the consumer products market. The Spectacles have taken the Google Glass concept and made it relevant, desirable and useable. I believe history will look back on the Spectacles as the first real (if not tentative) step towards our inevitable VR future.
I image the phone to be made of a similar plastic construction to the Spectacles, which would utilise the same camera and offer a much lower price point than the usual array of smartphones. This would also reduce the burden on advertising to generate revenue which could reduce the dilution of the user experience further.
Perhaps a big claim but as of December 2016 Snapchat has 150 million active daily users, and a growing brand that is starting to feel a lot like Apple circa 2005.
Let me know your thoughts and predictions for 2017!
Have a great new year