With Apple’s (News - Alert) hardware business slowing, the company is looking to capitalize on the popularity of social networks. Although Apple has tried in the past to launch social media services—does anyone else remember the iTunes-focused social network called Ping back in 2010—they have yet to find success. This time, the tech giant is using video editing and social as angles for their new integrations.
This move comes in response to the success of social-media-focused companies like Facebook (News - Alert) and Snapchat. Facebook’s mobile users are on its News Feed, Instagram and Messenger, an average of 50 minutes a day, while Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users spend an average of 30 minutes per day with the photo- and video-sharing app. So it’s no surprise that the two companies’ apps are consistently some of the most downloaded apps for iPhone (News - Alert), and Apple wants to get in on the action in order to increase revenue.
One of the ways they plan on breaking into the social networking realm is through video editing and sharing. The news that the latest iOS update will include a new iMessage with more fun features like animated effects to illustrate text messages, an App Store with plug-ins for sending animated images and stickers, and tools to draw on top of photos and videos garnered a lot of interest. They’re taking this same idea but applying it to video; users will be able to record video, apply filters and drawings to the media and send it to contacts or via existing social networks.
The goal is to offer simple video editing with tools that appeal to millennials and upcoming generations—the people who grew up surrounded by social media. Young people love the capabilities provided by Snapchat, and Apple would like to tap into that market. It’s plan would become a standalone app, but it may eventually be packaged with the iPhone’s existing camera application.
The video sharing app is still in its preliminary stages, but Apple would like to have it launched by 2017. Don’t get too excited, though; Apple has been known to scrap projects, no matter how far along they are, if they’re not meeting goals.
On another note, Apple also has some other ideas waiting in the wings, which have been in development for awhile. One system that has been tested but yet to be released is a bolstered version of the “proactive assistance” functionality. The current implementation recommends points of interest, contacts, and apps based on location and time of day. The proposed enhancements are supposed to connect users even more so with their contacts. Apples wants to make sharing and connectivity as simple as possible.
Between the video editing and the integration of other social features, it seems like Apple is ready to become known for more than just making good phones. I personally think the level of connectivity we have now is impressive, but they seem determined to up the ante while simultaneously diving into social networking. Let’s see what they have in store for us.