Apple’s New Clips App Creates Another Way to Tell Stories

March 22, 2017 - 2 minutes read

It seems as if everybody wants to play the Snapchat game these days, which is understandable given the ephemeral image messaging app’s popularity with young people (and investors, of course). Instagram and Facebook have already looted the Stories feature, and now it appears as if Apple is doing a little borrowing of its own with its app developers’ latest creation, Clips. Announced on Tuesday, Clips is an intuitive video editing app, ideal for dashing off quirky videos to share with friends. It has features comparable to Snapchat, Instagram, Vine (RIP), and similar apps as well as some novel innovations of its own, including a Live Title function that allows you to add text to your video with your voice. But what differentiates Clips the most from Snapchat is its lack of an attached social network.

This is admittedly a pretty huge distinction. Clips is designed as a zone for creation only; what you put together has to be shared on another platform. Users will be able to send their videos to their contacts through iMessage, and Apple’s app developers have even added a feature called Smart Suggestions that utilizes facial recognition capabilities to recommend which friends to share your videos with. But while users can upload their videos to Facebook or Instagram or YouTube, there is no internal messaging system in the app or a way to broadcast from the app directly.

For those who are concerned about privacy, this lack of a built-in social network may prove to be a draw. But iPhone app developers familiar with Apple’s recent history will note that the tech giant has consistently struggled with social networking (remember Ping?). Still, Apple has an opportunity here to be the video editor of choice for the next generation of viral videos, just as long as their creators have an iOS device.

Is it possible that Clips is more than just a fun video app for the Snap generation? Consumer tech observers are already theorizing that Clips may be a prototype for Apple’s coming push into AR. NYC iPhone app developers can determine how serious these predictions are for themselves when the app drops this April.

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