Talk about short flights. Just four months after launching its small, palm-launched selfie drone called Pixie,Snapchat mothership Snap Inc. is halting development of the product according to reports.
The decision to pull the plug on Pixie was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing recent comments made about the selfie drone by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel during “a regular question-and-answer session” at the company. Reasons for the surprisingly quick pullback were said to be the combined factors of disappointing sales since Pixie’s introduction in April, and a refocusing of activity that many businesses – especially in tech – undertake in anticipation of economic downturns.
True to its webpage description of itself as a “camera company,” Snap marketed Pixie as aerial photographic tech – not the vulgar “selfie drone” most references use. The idea behind the $230 Pixie was to offer clients a small, affordable device capable of capturing shots of themselves using four programmed flight paths. Photos taken could then be quickly uploaded to customers’ Snapchat accounts.
The strategy of using a new product to create an additional income stream even as it fueled increased Snapchat use – and, by extension, advertiser interest – apparently didn’t pan out as intended. After an initial flurry, sales of Pixie reportedly failed to reach anticipated targets, while ad revenues from the social media platform began to slump.
Indeed, Span’s second quarter earnings report stated the company was “not satisfied with the results we are delivering, regardless of the current headwinds,” and planned to adjust spending in response. Exit Pixie, stage left.
Despite the move ending production of Pixie, people wanting to get one of the pocket-sized selfie drones before they vanish apparently still have some time to do so. As was the case with Snap’s unsuccessful 2017 Spectacles product – sunglasses featuring a built-in camera – Pixie will apparently be available as long as current inventories hold out.