Apple is reportedly developing a video sharing and editing app in the vein of Snapchat, one aimed at appealing to younger users and taking advantage of the rampant popularity of social networks.
The word comes from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, citing people familiar with Apple's strategy. The iPhone maker, which has front-row seats to the rise of Facebook and Snapchat thanks to the App Store, has a new focus on better integrating social networking capabilities into its mobile products, the report says.
The video sharing app, said to be in development, would give users much the same tools they're familiar with on Snapchat, including filters and the ability to draw on videos. Clips would then be shared to contacts or via social media.
According to sources, Apple is designing the app with one-hand usage in mind, and wants everything from shooting to editing to sharing to be done in under a minute. Not only would the app take cues from Snapchat, but Instagram as well - at least one prototype records video in the square format Insta users are used to, the report says.
Apple's aim in all this is to give the Snapchat generation easy editing tools they're familiar with. Right now, Apple intends to launch the app on its own, though it could incorporate what it's developed into the iPhone's exciting camera app. The report didn't mention whether the app's videos would be temporary, a feature Snapchat does offer.
Though Apple is shooting for a 2017 release, it could kill the project at any point. The iPhone 7, launching next month, is rumored to feature dual cameras - a video app seems primed to take advantage of the handset's new shooting prowess.
A video editing and sharing app wouldn't be Apple's first foray into social media. It launched Ping in 2010, but shut down the music-themed social network just two years later.
However, with iPhone sales slipping, execs are eyeing Apple's software services as the places to get revenue flowing again.
Apple, seeing Facebook Messenger and Snapchat top its App Store charts, wants to stay relevant with the generally younger users who frequent those platforms.
In addition to the video sharing app, Apple is said to have tested a number of unreleased social-focused features for iOS. The Bloomberg report states Apple wants to improve connections between contacts, and make viewing messages from various sources easier.
None of these apps and functions could come to pass, but the fact Apple is at least tinkering with new features points to the importance of social media and companies' efforts to capitalize on sharing, especially with video.
Taking a page from Snapchat, Google's new Allo chat app will feature expiring messages, with some apparently set to a timer. Facebook has said it plans to become a video-first platform, and is working to execute that vision.
Apple, it seems, doesn't want to be left in the dust. Whether we see new social-focused features when iOS 10 and the iPhone 7 launch, or later on next year, the company is clearly ready to make waves where it hasn't before.
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