Why Apple’s New Clips Video App Isn’t a Social Network

March 21, 2017, 1:56 PM UTC

With millennial iPhone users obsessed with making, sharing and watching short videos, Apple debuted its own short clip-making app on Tuesday dubbed Clips.

But don’t call Clips a new social network. It’s all about making videos–the sharing and watching will happen elsewhere.

Incorporating elements very reminiscent of Snapchat, Instagram, and other popular social video apps, Apple’s Clips will allow users to film and edit short videos and add effects via filters, text overlays, music tracks, and the like.

The clips can then be shared with friends directly via Apple’s own iMessage service or more broadly by uploading to popular social networks, including Facebook’s (FB) Instagram, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) YouTube, and IAC’s (IACI) Vimeo.

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The ability to upload to various existing social networks might be a smart play to encourage use of Clips. Apple’s track record with creating its own closed social platforms has been mixed at best. Its Ping and Connect for music services flopped.

The company’s iMessage service has replaced text messaging for many users and has emojis and other fun features, but isn’t a social network as it doesn’t host sharable content. Apple hasn’t said how many people actively use the service lately, but revealed last year that users send as many as 200,000 messages per second. So the new video making app won’t force users to become pioneers and join a new service that may not catch on.

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The new app’s square screen view for capturing video looks much like Instagram’s starting view. The ability to add special effects via filters that impose cartoonish designs on moving videos is a Snapchat speciality. And many apps apps offer the ability to add captions and music.

The Clips app can film clips up to 30 minutes long and edited videos can go on for an hour. The app requires at least an iPhone 5S, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 or 6th generation iPod Touch running iOS 10.3, Apple said.

Apple (AAPL) didn’t specifically say if the new app—rolling out in the near future—would be compatible with the king of short video apps among teenagers: Snapchat. While Snap (SNAP) doesn’t include a sharing sheet for iPhone users, the most common method for exchanging video and photos between apps, the Snap app can upload videos directly from a phone’s camera roll. So a Clips user could save a video to the camera roll, open the Snap app and then upload it from there.

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