Clips, A Video App, Helps Apple Drives Further Into Facebook, Snap Territory

The huge base of iPhone users could help AppleInc to compete with Snap Inc’s Snapchat and Facebook Inc’s Messenger even as the tech giant is inching one step closer to fully engaging in the messaging world with the release of a new video app called Clips.

Complete with colorful emoji symbols, customers are allowed to by Clips, which will hit Apple’s App Store in April. Adding speech bubbles and filters and stitching together multiple video clips would also be possible for the users using he app.

Snap’s wildly popular Stories feature also has similar looking features and functions. Photos and videos are strung together and then embellish and then posted to the feeds of the Snap users with the help of a feature named Stories.

Video posting on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and more wuld be possible for the users of iPhone now with Apple’s new Clips. But based on which friends are in the videos and whom the user frequently contacts – the kind of predictive social features Facebook excels at,  Apple will recommend whom to share it with if users post them to Apple’s own Messages app.

Messages, the flagship app for short notes that is built into the iPhone’s iOS 10 software, has a huge number of users. Apple say that there more than 1 billion iOS devices on the market and that 79 percent of them run iOS 10 but the company does not say exactly how many people use the app.

Giving the company potentially up to 800 million users for its latest messaging platform, Apple also says that Messages is the most commonly used app on iOS devices. Apple’s Clips will be tied closely to it for the ability share Clips videos with other Apple users even though its competitor will technically be a separate app from Messages.

For both WhatsApp, which it acquired for $19 billion the same year and Messenger, which was split off from the main Facebook service in 2014, Facebook has more than 1 billion users.

Features of Facebook’s Messenger had been steadily matched by Apple. But by cooperating with them often as it competes with them, Apple is also walking a fine line with other messaging players. For example, to enable iPhone users place and receive Skype and WhatsApp calls through the device’s native interface, Apple has opened up the iPhone’s dialer app, long closed off to developers.

Scrambling to get into the game too are Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp. Including Allo, its latest, Google has more than a half dozen messaging apps. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is a popular tool for business notes and Microsoft has tried to integrate chat into its Skype app.

But Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is a popular tool for business notes, tech giants are obsessed over messaging because it is where users are headed. Noting a trend that Gartner expects will continue, between 2015 and 2016, while messaging apps jumped from 68 percent to 71 percent, the percentage of U.S. and UK smartphone owners who used social media apps dropped from 85 percent to 83 percent.

(Adapted from Reuters)

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