When will we see this iSnap feature? Well, according to Bloomberg, the answer is likely "not any time soon," as the project is in its early days and subject to a lot of review before it gets to consumers:
"The eventual launch and scale of the integrated social features are contingent upon approval from a team inside Apple that analyzes the privacy implications of products before their introduction, according to a person familiar with the matter. This team has the power to veto new features if they could potentially expose too much user data, the person said."
At first blush, the Snapchat copycat feature sounds kind of sad for Apple, which has notably never succeeded in making an actual social network.
Social networks are not easy to create. Just ask Google, which has revamped and revitalized Google+ so many times that it's hard to keep track of how many times the network has been declared dead. But Apple's efforts in the social area have been even less notable. There was the ill-fated (and mostly forgotten) music-focused Ping network. There's also Apple Music Connect, which is designed to get artists to communicate with fans who are also Apple Music subscribers — but not for fans to connect with each other. In general, Apple's failure to get in on the social media boom has been repeatedly criticized by those who find it both puzzling and infuriating that the company is missing out on such a huge trend.
But the way social networks have evolved may change that story line. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and others are focusing more on messaging — an area that Apple has been quietly and steadily expanding on for years. Most iPhone users probably don't give much thought to Messages, which is the default way that you can text your friends, but it's actually a pretty robust social tool.
The company is also opening up an app store just for Messages, which will let users customize their messaging experience to include tie-ins from other apps — suggest movie times in your text message through the Fandango app! — as well as less-practical but more-fun embellishments such as stickers. Down the line, it'd be easy to see Apple and others create Messages apps that greatly expand the app's functions.
Which brings us back to the reported video-sharing feature. If the past is anything to go by, we'll probably just see it integrated into our existing apps, as a preinstalled app on our phones, or maybe as an optional Messages app.
The truth is that even the biggest social networks seem nowadays to be growing into territory that Apple has a pretty good handle on. The company has waited so long to jump on the social media train that the track has looped back around to meet it.