Facebook, sensing Apple is down, kicks it in the app

Would Apple ever let users swap its iMessage for Facebook’s Messenger?

From The Information’s “Facebook Opens New Fight With Apple Over Messaging” ($) posted Friday: 

Facebook executives have sharply ramped up their criticism of Apple in recent months, contesting the iPhone maker’s restrictions on gaming apps and ad targeting, as well as its cut of in-app purchases. Now, emboldened by Apple software changes that suggest it is starting to bend, Facebook wants something else: the option to make its Messenger app the default messaging tool on iPhones.

“We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone,” Stan Chudnovsky, the Facebook vice president in charge of its Messenger app, told The Information. “Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway…”

Earlier this month, Apple released an update to its mobile operating system, iOS 14, that let people for the first time select default web browser and email apps that aren’t made by Apple, such as Google’s Chrome browser and Microsoft’s Outlook. And in late 2019, it started allowing its Siri virtual assistant to send messages through other apps.

Opening up the messaging default to other apps would likely have bigger implications, however, and Apple did not extend such flexibility to Apple’s messaging service iMessage and the accompanying Messages app.

.My take: Maybe when hell freezes over.


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    It is time for shareholders to push back on all this “crap.” As far as the App Store Steve wanted initially Web apps only, a compromise with his co-workers who pushed for a full-blown iPhone API. Apple is not a utility company. If Apple does not prevail on the App Store issue in the courts, then as a shareholder I advocate doing away with the App store completely on apps submitted for profit making instead of for services. The expense Apple ploughs into maintenance of the App store, for security of Developers, for all the other privileges taking up Apple staffs time and resources could then be used in other unique, experimental and innovative areas. This should be the contingency plan.

    If Apple does not start playing hardball then we are going to see other crap like above in this blogged article with Facebook.

    September 25, 2020
    • S Lawton said:
      No problem. That’s what Amazon does and has for years.

      September 25, 2020
  2. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    @ Jerry Doyle —

    A bit radical move for a public company, but I actually find myself in support of such an “experiment”.

    Maybe what Jerry has come upon is a method of proof that Apple is not a “utility”.

    While I can confidently say I use the apps from the App Store as much as I use my damn power, if my utility company turned off my power arbitrarily without good reason, there would probably be some kind of court action with justification.

    If Apple turned off the App Store…

    …oh well.

    Sorry for the inconvenience of this circle of support., y’all. Was just trying to be helpful.

    Now maybe if you’d all now kindly proceed to the store up the street, maybe they’ll listen to all your hollerin’ about not being fair and let you steal from them.

    September 25, 2020
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    Way too early for such drastic thoughts Facebook is the epitome of a weak, on trick pony, fighting for survival

    I don’t use any texting service excepting iMessage, but those I know that do, do so because they don’t have access to anything better. Allowing Facebook’s Messenger as an iOS option legitimizes an inferior product over which Apple would have no control.

    Ain’t gonna happen. I say let Facebook wither at a distant #5 among the FAANG. Abandoning the App Store is a horrible idea.

    September 25, 2020
  4. David Emery said:
    I already get spam messages sent through SMS messaging, and of course Facebook is an advertiser/surveillance playground.

    The issue with opening up the App Store is its impact on overall device security. It might be interesting to take the approach the Mac previously had, where you could run ‘system tight’, allowing apps only with validated (i.e. cryptographically signed) credentials, or ‘system loose’, allowing you to install any app (at your own risk.) It’s worth noting that Apple tightened that in Mojave, although I think you can still grant an exception for an unsigned app.

    September 25, 2020
  5. Bart Yee said:
    Here’s a few Messenger “features” that let FB access your personal and contact’s info, from a Lifewire article:

    Another great thing about sharing images and videos through Messenger is that the app and website collect all the media files so you can quickly sift through them.

    Messenger functions as a simple way to send money to people using just your debit card information. You can do this from both the website and the mobile app.

    Messenger lets you play games within the app or Messenger.com website, even while in a group message. You don’t have to download another app or visit another website to start playing with other Messenger users.

    Instead of using a dedicated app to show someone where you are, you can let recipients follow your location for up to an hour with Messenger’s built-in location-sharing feature, which only works from the mobile app.

    Although Messenger doesn’t have a calendar, it does let you create event reminders through the Reminders button on the mobile app. Another neat way to do it is to send a message that contains a reference to a day, and the app automatically asks you if you want to make a reminder.

    Add new Messenger contacts by inviting contacts from your phone or, if you’re on Facebook, your Facebook friends. There’s also a custom Scan Code you can grab from within the app and share with others, who can then scan your code to add you to their Messenger instantly.

    September 25, 2020
  6. Bart Yee said:
    So Facebook gathers your media (and can Facial Recognize people), accesses your debit card (and by extension your checking account) info, play games outside of the App Store system, gives away your location as you move, collects event data, can access your entire contact list and add (recruit) new users, just to name a few.

    Gee, who gets to benefit from all these “features”? And whose info get analyzed and shared (sold) by Facebook to ad companies and others? And who “guards” this data?

    No thanks, I’m not willing to give away my info or the info of others I know. Messenger is an info gathering and recruiting platform rather than a general communication service.

    But if iOS users want to freely give up that info, I hope Apple forces FB to disclose, at every decision point, what users are allowing access to. And the option to opt out.

    September 25, 2020
  7. Adam Foster said:
    Amen to that Bart Yee!

    September 25, 2020
  8. Steven Philips said:
    Joe: You sound like a psychiatrist.
    And I would bring up the old response – “Sometimes a banana is just a banana.”
    I think your interpretation of Kirk’s comment is a real reach. Especially when you turn it into an accusation.

    September 26, 2020

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