If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Snapchat must feel like the belle of the ball. First Instagram copied Snapchat's Stories feature, and now Apple, of all companies, is reportedly developing its own Snapchat competitor, which it plans to release in 2017.
According to a report today (Aug. 25) by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, Apple "is starting to develop a video-sharing app" that lets users record and decorate videos with filters and doodles, and share those clips with friends and on social media.
The Apple app is meant to be simple enough that it can be operated "mostly with one hand and with the intention that video could be shot, edited, and uploaded in less than one minute."
Snapchat may not be the only application Apple is drawing inspiration from, as the report notes that a prototype design for the app shoots video in a square format, a feature that Instagram's users are already familiar with.
According to Bloomberg, Apple wants to appeal to users young enough to be "growing up with Snapchat and Instagram." To us, this sounds more like a feature that brings Snapchat and Instagram's playful fun to older people who haven't tried either app.
It's peculiar that the report claims these features would live in a stand-alone app, rather than as an addition to Apple's Messages app, which is slated to get a plethora of graphics-rich features in iOS 10. Bloomberg's sources did note that Apple may slot this feature into the existing Camera app.
Apple's track record with social media is relatively poor, with both of the company's attempts at music-based social networks (Ping and Connect) failing to connect with users. The Bloomberg report does not mention whether the shared videos will self-destruct the way Snapchat and Instagram stories do, a feature that may let users be sillier and have more fun without fear of permanence.