Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Clips, Four Months Later

Remember Clips, Apple’s little app for making little videos? Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac remembered that it exists recently:

But I have to say that I don’t actually know anyone in the real world who uses the app, and I haven’t seen anything created with it shared on social media. Clips so far appears to have largely disappeared without trace.

Searching Instagram for hashtags associated with Clips reveal a handful of posts — 2,300 for “#appleclips”, 2,200 for “#madewithclips”, and a little over 500 for “#clipsapp”. I know nobody who uses it regularly or sends me anything made with it.


But the thing that would really bring it to life would be augmented reality features. Instead of static stickers and emoji, and the short-lived novelty of captions, offer people the opportunity to interact on-screen with virtual elements. 3D objects, cartoon characters, you name it.

Sure, that might give the app a little boost, maybe. But here’s the thing: Clips was last updated on May 3. Snapchat and Instagram were last updated yesterday, and they ship new effects on a near-daily basis. As I wrote when Clips launched:

I’d be more concerned with how likely it is that Apple remains committed to delivering updates — other experimental apps they’ve shipped, like Music Memos and Cards, quickly became neglected after launch. Apps like these are hard to get right, and I don’t think Clips is a hit yet. One day, I think it could be really great, but only if Apple sees it as a long-term commitment.

I’m not sure if Clips could ever gain the kind of traction that established players and huge social networks have, but it certainly won’t retain many users if nothing about it changes for months at a time.

Update: As of 16:48 Calgary time, Matt Birchler has sent me the first thing since April that I’ve seen made in Clips. Of course, it was made in April.

Update: A day after publishing this, Apple shipped a Disney/Pixar-themed update. I assume the next update will be Halloween-themed. The app apparently has over a million monthly unique users, which genuinely surprises me.