Apple introduces one of the most modern streaming features to iPhone users with the debut of SharePlay on iOS 15 later this year, allowing FaceTime users to play music, online videos and movies with friends . The move positions FaceTime to compete more directly with platforms like Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Houseparty, which offer ways to video chat while watching things in groups. It offers Apple the opportunity to connect a new generation of users to FaceTime, but the service still lacks some key integrations to make that happen, especially for teens who are more likely to use it.
SharePlay, announced earlier this week and likely to arrive in the fall, will allow FaceTime users to share and stream real-time multimedia content from an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. It is a good tool for the pandemic era and is inspired by clock party fashions lots of major streaming platforms – including Disney Plus, Hulu and Prime Video, among others – were added over the past year. For unsupported services, such as Netflix, there are popular extensions which also allow simultaneous transmission and chat.
The goal, however, is not to compete with these native platforms. After all, you still look at Hulu in a different space. Instead, the update puts FaceTime instead of services like Facebook Messenger that dominate messaging and have already been trying to create co-viewing experiences, but without a list of services as strong as Apple has the ability to do. line.
SharePlay especially makes sense for the next generation of iPhone users, as teenagers are more inclined to watch videos on their phones. There are video-based social networking apps like Instagram and TikTok immensely popular among adolescents, and a overwhelming majority teens have access to these apps from their own personal smartphones. Video chat is also very popular with one 2015 survey of Pew Research, which found that 59% of American teens chatted with their friends on video.
The introduction of SharePlay also mocks that of Apple informed plans to make iMessage compete more directly with Facebook’s WhatsApp by becoming a social network. It makes a lot of sense for the company to invest similarly in developments for its video calling product, which is just a couple of taps away.
But if Apple wants SharePlay to be a hit among consumers who are more likely to use it, it will need to expand the number of apps that support it.
Apple said that at launch, Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount Plus, Pluto TV, TikTok and Twitch will have the support of SharePlay, which is a somewhat limited package of streaming options. Of course, there is a long time for this list to be extended before iOS 15 is officially released to users in the fall. And Apple said so The Verge that SharePlay will be available for any streaming application that wants to support it, so we’re likely to see a wider adoption.
However, some of the best applications for this feature were unable to access the initial Apple Supported Services slide. Netflix is perhaps the most obvious of this simply based on the fact that virtually everyone has a Netflix login, whether they pay for it or not (at least to the point of inevitability password suppression). But YouTube was not mentioned either, and neither company commented on possible potential assistance when contacted. The Verge this week. A Peacock spokesman, however, said so The Verge this SharePlay support was on your “roadmap”.
YouTube, in particular, seems like a huge flaw for Apple, especially as for teenagers. YouTube hosts almost every imaginable digital media format (music, movies, news, personalities, tutorials, live channels, etc.), but most importantly, it’s free. As video callers they tend to distort younger people already apps with highly shareable content, such as live streaming, seem to be the best use case for SharePlay outside of live sporting events. This is particularly true, as for paid services, each participant in a SharePlay real-time playback session will need a login for the application. After all, if the tool didn’t require credentials and allowed anyone to leave a FaceTime content stream from a paid service, SharePlay would be a nightmare of piracy.
But that’s part of what makes the practical SharePlay app a little disconcerting. Real-time playback of a game or movie premiere can cost quickly. If your friends watch NFL coverage on Sling TV, you’ll need a $ 35 subscription to participate (assuming the content is included in one of the service’s base plans). If you want to see a version of Premier Access as Cruel at Disney Plus, you should pay the $ 8 monthly subscription cost at the top of an additional early entry fee of $ 30. (A Disney Plus spokesman has confirmed to The Verge that SharePlay users still have to pay to access it.)
It’s hard to imagine most users paying for a service just to be able to do FaceTime while watching a title. Again, based on recent media consumption trends among teens, perhaps SharePlay is part of the future of how entertainment is consumed, at least for the younger subset of Apple users.
It makes sense for a company that invests heavily in its service offerings to advance the clock party trend, if not a little late, and it’s a natural way for Apple to not only be relevant, but also sell subscriptions and hardware. , even if right now, SharePlay just seems unlikely to increase the numbers of streaming services. Free, social-mediated services and streaming titans are more likely to succeed with this feature, and live streaming apps are more likely to work better. But they will actually have to do it to be turned on SharePlay for this to work. As it stands today, many are not.