Tech companies are now intensely focusing on developing communication aka messaging apps to grow their userbase rapidly. Now with the release of its new video app 'Clips', Apple is gradually consolidating its position in the messaging world and giving tough competition to Snapchat and Facebook.
Clipsis expected to hit the market in April this year, according to the company's latest announcement. Its features include taking videos, adding animated captions and embedding colorful emojis in the video. Add to that the app lets users stitch multiple video clips together. As it appears, the features mirror that of Snapchat's popular 'Stories' feature, which has now been incorporated in Facebook Messenger as well as WhatsApp.
The new Clips app not only lets iOS users to share the videos through its own Message app, but also to post them on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and more. However, while sharing on the Message app, Apple will recommend whom to share the video with, based on whom the user contacts more often and which friends are in the videos - the kind of predictive social algorithm that is the strong point of Facebook.
Apple already has a huge number of users for its flagship messaging app 'Messages', which is mainly for sharing short notes, built into iOS 10 software. Although, the company doesn't share the exact number of iMessage users, it did announce that there more than 1 billion iOS devices on the market and that 79% of them run iOS 10.
The number could be potentially go up to 800 million users for its latest messaging platform, according to the company. On the other hand Snapchat has only 161 million active users. Although, Clips will be an entirely different platform, but the contrasting number shows that Apple is in the game of fully engaging into the messaging world.
Facebook, however, has more than 1 billion users for both Messenger and WhatsApp.
Apple has been steadily matching the features of Facebook's Messenger. But, cleverly it doesn't only competes but also co-operates with the messaging players. For example, it has opened up the iPhone's dialer app, long closed off to developers, so that iPhone users could place and receive Skype and WhatsApp calls through the device's native interface.
According to Gartner, between 2015 and 2016, the percentage of U.S. and UK smartphone owners, who used social media apps dropped from 85% to 83% while messaging apps jumped from 68% to 71%, a trend the analyst firm expects will continue.