Why the Clips App for iPhone is Much More Than a Fun Video Creation and Sharing App

iphone user engagement clips video editing app

A while ago, Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that video was the future of Facebook. Although the social media giant is yet to crack into the paid video streaming market in a meaningful way, there’s no doubt that video is a big part of Facebook and its other assets: Instagram and WhatsApp.

Apple has a presence in streaming video with Apple TV, and the relatively new TV app on iOS is an extension of that. However, Apple has never before stepped into the social media space with a focus on video. That, hopefully, will change with the new Clips app for iOS, which allows iPhone users to easily create and share their own titles using video footage, photos and even music.

Why does Apple need an app to create videos when there are several great platforms available for user-generated video content? Are they thinking of becoming a rival to YouTube or Snapchat or Instagram? Are they going to monetize this in a big way? In truth, the answer may be far less complex than that.

Today’s successful technology companies have realized that the most valuable asset is not their product or service itself, but the people that use them. The company with the biggest user base will inevitably rise to the top, overtaking others that focus merely on making ‘a better product’ or service. Alphabet’s Google has one of the largest user bases in the world through its Search and other applications. Apple is big because of its iPhone user base. Facebook is huge because it is approaching 2 billion active users.

But Apple, like Facebook and Google, has realized that it’s not enough to have a massive user base of iPhone owners. Unless that user base is engaged and entertained with multiple products and services under the company’s umbrella, nothing is going to grow.

For that reason, these companies are now creating “product and service ecosystems” where their users can jump between apps, products and services all they want, yet stay within the company’s assets.

It’s not that they didn’t do it before, but it’s becoming clear that this is their new focus area. The game of “getting them in” has now become one of “keeping them in” and involves a purpose-built strategy. That’s how Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Maps and every other service or product fit into the bigger picture, because they have the iPhone user base at the center.

Essentially, that’s what the Clips app is all about as well. By leveraging the growth of video consumption and tying that in with device usage, Clips forms a bridge between the two. If successful, it will effectively keep users glued to their iPhones that much longer.

But, more importantly, if someone has a good collection of tunes in Apple Music, is more comfortable with Apple Maps than Google Maps, has started using Apple Pay, owns AirPods, uses an iMac at home and so on, what phone do you think they’re going to buy next? A Galaxy S8? Yeah, right!

The name of the game is engagement, which is one of the reasons why Google has so many products; it’s why Facebook has been releasing a slew of standalone apps; and it is the driving force behind Apple creating multiple services so their users are kept within the confines of Apple’s assets for as long as possible on any given day.

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