Facebook is pushing for Apple to open up default messaging app options

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Emboldened by users able to change default email and browser apps in iOS 14, Facebook is pressing Apple to allow its users to set third-party platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, as their default messaging app.

Credit: Tim Bennett
Credit: Tim Bennett


The social media giant has long butted heads with Apple on areas ranging on privacy to the Cupertino tech giant's cut of in-app purchases. Given that user choice now exists for default internet browsers and Mail apps in iOS 14, Facebook is attempting to push for open messaging.

According to a report by The Information on Friday, those default app changes have provided another opportunity for Facebook and other companies to lodge complaints about the lack of messaging app freedom.

"We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone. Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway," said Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook Messenger chief.

Chudnovsky said that Facebook had unsuccessfully attempted to get Apple to open up default messaging on its platforms. The company has never agreed, likely because Messages is such as core part of iOS and opening it up would have broader implications than mail or browser apps.

"For any other developer in the [messaging] space, it isn't really a level playing field," Chudnovsky said, adding that opening up default messaging would allow third parties to "compete more fairly where iOS is dominant." As far as why Apple hasn't granted third-party apps the ability to become the default iOS messenger, the Facebook executive says the consensus is that "messaging drives hardware sales."

The push to open up default messaging could be risky for Facebook if it invites backlash from Apple. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been a sharp critic of Facebook's business model, and the two companies have been in dustups before.

Chetan Sharma, a wireless and mobile industry consultant, told The Information that Apple is unlikely to open up default messaging unless it becomes a liability.

"In my mind it would be very strategic for Apple to keep control over iMessage," Sharma said. "It's not in their interest unless it becomes a significant antitrust issue."

However, Apple is facing criticism and scrutiny from both government entities and other companies in the technology space for behavior that allegedly edges on anti-competitive.

The Cupertino tech giant is currently embroiled in a legal antitrust battle with Epic Games after the "Fortnite" maker baited it into removing the app from the App Store. Apple is also facing government antitrust investigations in Europe and the U.S.

Facebook's own chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said in August that the App Store charges "monopoly rents" and stifles both competition and innovation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    They need to STFU!!!
    williamlondonmacseekerrob53gilly33tobybeagleAnilu_777Bart YmattinozmikeybabesStupot
  • Reply 2 of 47
    Likely we'll never know, but it would be interesting to know what % of people end up changing their default mail & browser.

    I'd guess it's pretty low.
    williamlondonlkrupprandominternetpersonBart YStupotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 47
    Messenger can’t be used for SMS. So no. 
    razorpitdysamoriawilliamlondonmacseekeruraharamagman1979tokyojimuaderuttertobianBart Y
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Facebook sucks, FB messenger sucks and it's not better than iMessage. I'd love for Apple to make this possible just for FB to see how few people decide to make Messenger their default.
    magman1979yoyo2222Bart Ymuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 47
    XedXed Posts: 825member
    I'm torn on this. I'm all for Apple allowing different default apps, which include the web browser, mail app, and messaging app, and yet I both dislike and distrust Facebook to a point that I hope this never happens.

    I can't believe I was ever positive on Apple integrating FB into iOS and macOS.
    dysamoriaBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 47
    Facebook should be look at NO competition....messenger is in messaging already but i wont make them my default 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Messenger can’t be used for SMS. So no. 
    While that is true, mainly it won't can't happen is because there is no universal protocol for messages (unlike mail and web), so its not like all messages can be routed to a single message app.  FB is just being a PITA.
    dysamoriawilliamlondonigorskytokyojimujdb8167Bart Ywatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 8 of 47
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,523member
    FB is being that whiny little brat.

    I find it amazing that for the total market share that the iPhone has globally (small), companies like Facebook (and banks, and countries) are demanding that Apple open's up it's closed platform to other competitors.
    edited September 2020 magman1979aderutterfotoformatJanNLBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 47
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,633member
    I don't really understand the request.  Click on a link and open your default browser.  Click on an email address open your default mail app.  What are you clicking on to open the default messaging app?  There is no universal messaging ID so this doesn't seem like a problem.  Phone numbers are the closest, but I don't think Facebook Messenger works witha phone number anywa, though WhatsApp, a Facebook company, does.

    Facebook can quite easily implement a schema for opening Facebook Messenger via a link.
    igorskyuraharatokyojimujdb8167randominternetpersontobianBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 47
    ralphie said:
    Messenger can’t be used for SMS. So no. 
    While that is true, mainly it won't can't happen is because there is no universal protocol for messages (unlike mail and web), so its not like all messages can be routed to a single message app.  FB is just being a PITA.
    This is really the only relevant argument against Zuckerberg's idiotic idea.  This is just an opportunistic weasel trying to take advantage of the current climate.
    Anilu_777Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 47
    XedXed Posts: 825member
    ralphie said:
    Messenger can’t be used for SMS. So no. 
    While that is true, mainly it won't can't happen is because there is no universal protocol for messages (unlike mail and web), so its not like all messages can be routed to a single message app.  FB is just being a PITA.
    I like this argument. 👍
    aderutterBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Will Apple Mesages work on the Facebook Phone? Oh wait...
    magman1979qwerty52aderutterBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 47
    Apple should just release iMessage for Android! 
    Everyone but Facebook and Google would benefit from this move. 
    ralphieBart YStupotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 47
    Gross.....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 47
    I don’t want Facebook more integrated into my phone.  They are already creepy enough gobbling up all data points to sell to advertisers.  Plus they are a resource hog.  I’d rather my battery lasted longer. 
    Anilu_777Bart Ymattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 47
    The arrogance of that guy (Zuckerberg) is endless!
    Who he thinks he is?
    Appel may  never allow this to happen, if it cares about its users.
    aderutterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Whoa! Zuck was drunk last night....

    Apple should merge iMessages with FaceTime to make something like Signal has and then to launch also an Android and Windows version!
    qwerty52Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Likely we'll never know, but it would be interesting to know what % of people end up changing their default mail & browser.

    I'd guess it's pretty low.
    Remember that Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Brave from the App Store are not Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Brave. They are just skins with UI behavior on top of WebKit's web view. The amount of things they can add or replace is limited. iOS 14 hasn't changed this situation.

    https://firt.dev/ios-14/#default-browser-change




    Xedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 47
    Zuckerburg can shut to hell up. I’m not choosing FB as my default anything. 
    qwerty52Anilu_777Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 47
    sflocal said:

    I find it amazing that for the total market share that the iPhone has globally (small), companies like Facebook (and banks, and countries) are demanding that Apple open's up it's closed platform to other competitors.
    Everyone wants to ride on Apple’s success/innovations for free. 
    Anilu_777Bart Yjohn.bwatto_cobra
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