Having apparently caught up with its rivals on artificial intelligence, Apple is now looking to catch up on social networks, too — with a new report claiming that Apple is in the process of developing its own Snapchat rival.
According to Bloomberg, Apple will look to integrate its new service within iOS as part of its new strategic pivot toward making money from services.
The standalone video-based app is reportedly being developed by the same Apple engineers who worked on Final Cut and iMovie, while the team is being led by Joe Weil, a former video production company president, who joined Apple late last year. It is hoped that Apple can launch it in 2017, although right now it is still in the early stages of development.
This isn’t the first time Apple has dipped its toe into social networking, although it would be the first time it has successfully launched one. In 2010, Apple debuted an iTunes-focused service called Ping — only to shutter it in September 2012, replacing it with Facebook and Twitter integration in iTunes.
More recently, Apple has been investigating adding more social network-oriented features into tools like iMessage and Apple Music, and is also reportedly developing and testing “multiple social-related features for its iPhone and iPad operating system” which have yet to see the light of day.
Interestingly, a Snapchat rival would put Apple into direct competition with former Apple exec Scott Forstall. According to leaked emails from the Sony hack, Forstall became an advisor to Snapchat in January of 2014, and was awarded 0.11 percent of the company’s stock in return.