Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Matthew Kobach, manager of digital and social media at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), center, takes a selfie photograph wearing a pair of Snapchat Spectacles by Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in New York.
Snap Inc‘s camera glasses are now available for purchase for the first time outside of the United States, with the hardware launching in London, Berlin, Paris, Venice and Barcelona on Friday.
These will be the first five cities in Europe where Spectacles will be available via vending machines at surprising locations. The sunglasses can also be purchased on Spectacles.com in 14 different European countries. They cost 149.99 euros ($168.28) each and are available in three colors.
The recording hardware – which can capture images hands-free with the tap of a button – is an attempt by Snap Inc to retain users against its rival Facebook, which has unveiled several similar products and features to Snapchat – one the company’s core products. These include Snap’s focus on the camera as the main feature in mobile experience, an augmented reality program and Snap’s vertical video stories.
At an earnings call with analysts last month, Snap Inc CEO Evan Spiegel said: “If you want to be a creative company, you got to get comfortable with and basically enjoy the fact that people are going to copy your products, if you make great stuff.”
Snap Inc is trying to expand beyond just the Snapchat app and create new revenue streams through hardware. Last year the company underwent a rebrand which saw it reposition as a “camera company”, rather than just a social media app.
However it’s unclear how well Spectacles have sold in their initial few months as Snap does not disclose official numbers.
Snapchat had 166 million global daily active users in the first quarter of 2017, of which more than 55 million were based in Europe. In the first quarter of the year Facebook had 1.28 billion daily active users globally.