Snap Inc., the company that brought you Snapchat and Bitmoji, launched a countdown timer at https://art.snapchat.com/ for a mysterious announcement, scheduled to be unveiled 8 hours from the time this article was posted.
It appears the website can be tricked into thinking the date set for the announcement, and the page to launch, has already passed.
How does this happen?
Quite simply. It has been reported by several twitter users, that the website uses the time and date from the client (your computer). As a result, changing your system time to a future date reveals the page ahead of schedule. Simple solution? Definitely. Use the time and date from the hosting server!
What is the big reveal?
Users have reported that the website is a landing page for an augmented reality popup project with American artist Jeff Koons. You may know of him as the guy behind large, stainless steel balloon art.
After gaining access to the unlocked website, it is revealed that Snap users will be able to experience some of Jeff’s artwork as augmented reality projections on their screens. Some of the locations identified include Paris’ Champs de Mars, New York’s Central Part, the Sydney Opera House or London’s Hyde Park.
What will it look like?
Screenshots from the website include the following:
Does this leak really matter?
It’s rare that an announcement, especially those from tech companies, are not leaked prematurely. Was this leak avoidable? Certainly. But does it really matter? Probably not.
The leak occurred so close to the actual announcement date that it doesn’t really have any negative impact on Snap Inc. In that, competitors don’t really have much of a heads up to announce a product or service of their own that would compete with Snap Inc.’s announcement.
Lesson to be learned
As a business, it is important to think about all possibilities when preparing for an announcement. Snap Inc. could have easily prevented this leak from occurring as they surely possess the technical expertise and teams capable of developing a better, more secure coming soon page. But, it was an oversight, and one that others can learn from.
Ensure your marketing initiatives go smoothly by thinking through possibilities that might hinder you from gaining the outcome you were looking for.