Snap Inc is known for Snapchat which lets people share ephemeral content to their friends in form of video or photos. Since its inception, we have always regarded it as a software company thanks to the app and its only recently they decided to dip their toes on hardware with Spectacles.
Now according to Reuters, Snap Inc is proposing that they can also build “hot selling hardware gadgets” so that they can stay a step ahead of Facebook. It is no doubt that Facebook is their biggest competitor since Facebook has copied and implemented some of Snapchat’s features across its ecosystem.
This is actually a big gamble for Snap and it seems they have a plan for it. According to a former employee, they apparently set out to hire 300 hardware, AR and VR specialists which seems to be the direction the industry is focusing to. Snap also apparently has Snap Labs which is a skunkworks of sorts where a group will undertake on secretive projects in areas of facial recognition, wearable cameras and 3D scanning tech.
The company also wants to turn the new Memories feature that allows people to save photos for AR and facial recognition applications, which could be applied to both hardware and software products.
It is no surprise Snapchat wants to go the hardware route as they seek to diversify their revenue streams and make it more interesting to their 158 million daily active users. Diversifying to hardware could attract new ad dollars since it will attract new users and make people use Snap products more which is important for a company that is almost going to an IPO.