Tuesday, November 22, 2016


If you've spent any time on Twitter lately, you've probably noticed people going on about Spectacles, Snapchat's just-released camera sunglasses. But much of the conversation hasn't even focused on the launch -- it's been about the bizarre and delightful game Snapchat has made out of getting them. Rather than letting anyone buy them online, it's been dropping adorable Snap Bot vending machines around the country, providing a countdown and map on its website so fans can breathlessly await the next appearance.

This (potentially) artificial scarcity is all part of Snapchat's strategy. When Spectacles were first announced, CEO Evan Spiegel referred to them as "a toy," and the quest to get a pair has become a big game for ardent fans. Every few days, a new Bot machine drops; two have been in LA while the other two have been in more far-flung corners of the country. One showed up in Big Sur, on the California coast, and the other in Oklahoma at the Blue Whale of Catoosa -- one of the more famous attractions on Route 66.

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