The bane of Spectacles, Snapchat's wearable digital video recorder, is that it can't export to traditional formats, only circular video. Until now, that is.
Snap Inc. has just updated its camera-equipped sunglasses to allow users to export video in formats ready for online sharing, which is a pretty big change in strategy for the company.
The reason Spectacles were restricted to circular video is because Snap Inc. thought it allowed users to rotate their phone while using Snapchat to get a better sense of a scene, but that came with a great disadvantage: circular video didn't really fit well on social media, especially Instagram, and that largely put a gate around the experience and made it seem as if it was exclusive to Snapchat.
New Video Formats In Snap Spectacles
That changes now, though. Apart from the circular shape, users will have the option to export their videos in square or widescreen formats — but for those who really like the circular look, there's also an option for a circular video, but with a black background.
The update is rolling out to both iOS and Android and will be applied to both first-generation and second-generation variants of Spectacles. Engadget says it might take some time before the options reach your phone, though.
To view these, go to Memories and press on a Spectacles Story. They should automatically pop up, and the user can choose whatever option they want. Just note that they'll always appear as full-screen videos on photos when one rotates their device if posted on Snapchat. On other platforms, they'll retain their shapes and frame no matter how the user views them.
Is Snapchat Becoming Lenient With Content?
In any case, the move is a wise one, since it makes Spectacles much more appealing to those who prefer other social media apps. As Snapchat continues to struggle against the behemoth that is Instagram, it needs all the help it can get to acquire new users and keep those already in engaged. Once overly protective, Snap Inc. now seems a little more lenient with letting its content travel across platforms, possibly in an effort to boost hardware sales.
The Spectacles were first released in 2016, largely as a niche product, and went on to become extremely popular among the millennial crowd. They weren't that widely available, however, appearing only in vending machines and pop-up stores.
The second-generation Spectacles were released this past April, a lighter and more comfortable version that's available in more colorways.