Snapchat was trying to build excitement for a mystery announcement, but totally blew it with a simple error

What Snapchat hid behind a timer on its website Monday.

caption
What Snapchat hid behind a timer on its website Monday.
source
Screenshot

Snapchat mistakenly revealed a partnership with the legendary artist Jeff Koons, bungling what appeared to be an attempt to create suspense and anticipation ahead of a big announcement on Tuesday.

The new feature appears to involve digital images of Jeff Koons iconic artwork, such as the balloon dog, which Snapchat users will be able to overlay onto the real world through the app’s camera – the company’s latest effort to weave augmented reality technology into its service.

What happened:

Snapchat employees started cryptically tweeting the link to the webpage art.snapchat.com on Monday. The page displayed a giant photograph of New York’s Central Park along with a giant timer counting down the hours and minutes t0 an unspecified event.

It didn’t take long for observers to figure out that the timer was scheduled to end around the time Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is due to step onstage for a rare interview at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Of course, that information was public and likely part of Snapchat’s effort to create buzz ahead of the interview.

Here’s what the countdown clock looks like: Screen Shot 2017 10 02 at 5.56.18 PM

source
Screenshot / Snap

Unfortunately, while Snap put a lot of effort into its countdown clock, it forgot about another clock: the one on your computer.

It turns out that it’s easy to see what’s behind the timer simply by setting your computer’s clock forward – a hack that essentially makes the website think it’s tomorrow when it talks to your PC.

After Business Insider pulled the curtain back on the webpage’s hidden content, Snap quickly fixed the problem. But BI was able to glean many of the images and videos that were posted on the site beforehand.

Voila:

The hidden webpage details a partnership between Snap and Jeff Koons that will show his famous art installations as 3D objects in Snapchat’s camera.

Screen Shot 2017 10 02 at 6.07.44 PM

source
Screenshot

Here are some of Snap’s images showing Koons’ artwork around the world:

Snapchat art page Australia

source
Business Insider

Snapchat art page beach

source
Business Insider

Snapchat art page Paris

source
Business Insider

Screen Shot 2017 10 02 at 6.07.58 PM

source
Screenshot

Here’s part of a video Snap shot with Koons:

full snapchat art video.. noaudio. i screencasted from an expired youtube link that was cachedHT @jonah pic.twitter.com/Zhyl1hVYTe

@jonahpic.twitter.com/Zhyl1hVYTeOctober 2, 2017

And here’s a shot of Koons in front of one of his bulbous dogs:

Jeff Koons Snapchat

source
Mosche Isaacian

As part of the announcement, Snap appears to also be giving other artists a way to have their work shown as 3D objects in its app. The website includes a signup form asking artists to submit their work:

Snapchat Artists Welcome

source
Business Insider

Snap didn’t return requests for comment.