Green texts in iMessages nudge teens to use iPhones

Posted:
in iOS edited January 9
Apple's color-coding of SMS communications in green in iMessage plays a role alongside other feature in getting teenagers to switch from Android to iPhone, a report claims, with a pressure to fit in with their peers promoting moves to turn their messages blue.




The use of green and blue to show whether a message to a user is made through iMessage or via other devices has become more than a simple convenience indicator for users. It's also a form of status indicator, showing the user not only owns an iPhone, but can also make use of features on the platform that others cannot.

In a profile of the color-indication system by the Wall Street Journal, teenagers and students explain how not having an iPhone and seeing green messages are seemingly a negative to them.

Michigan student Adele Lowitz told the report she first noticed the difference in status when she experimented with an Android device, prompting a member of her texting group to ask "Who's green?" Lowtiz then found group chats weren't working as seamlessly as when she used an iPhone, as well as causing problems for FaceTime calls and for apps used to find friends.

"In my circle at college, and in high school rolling over into college, most people have iPhones and utilize a lot of those kinds of iPhone-specific features," said Lowtiz. Reckoning that Apple had effectively made a social network with its features, she felt there was "some kind of pressure to get back to that."

Lowtiz had to use an Android device as part of a paid research study, but was quick to return to iPhone soon after. "There's too much within the Apple network for me to switch," she said. A friend was reportedly relieved that she was "Blue again" in her return.

University of Florida senior Miles Franklin discovered that he had missed out on rounds of a game in high school, which he determined was due to being an avid Android user. In 2020, he moved over to iPhone, in part due to preferring it to make TikTok videos.

New York masters student Jocelyn Maher said she was mocked by her friends and younger sister when dating, if the potential suitor used Android. "I was like, Oh my gosh, his texts are green,' and my sister literally went Ew, that's gross,'" said Maher.

Grace Fang of Wellesley College in Massachusetts also saw social dynamics at play regarding iPhones, with Android users apologizing for their device and not having iMessage.

"I don't know if it's Apple propaganda or just like a tribal in-group versus out-group thing going on, but people don't seem to like green text bubbles that much and seem to have this visceral negative reaction to it," she said.

Apple is apparently well aware that iMessage is a serious draw to its users, with it surfacing in the Epic-Apple trial as part of a series of claims it was used to lock users into its ecosystem. Epic pointed to statements by senior Apple management that the company had blocked the creation of an Android version of iMessage.

While Apple debunked rumors of iMessage heading to Android in mid-2016, the claims persisted, including one later that year asserting that mock-ups were made for a client using Google's "Material Design."

In 2018, former iOS development chief Scott Forstall tried to push carriers into adopting a texting standard that shared features with iMessage, a proposal that didn't progress far.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,732member
    SMS is SMS is SMS. Apple’s iMessages is their proprietary system and I think they are under no obligation to produce cross-platform versions of it unless they choose to, like Apple Music. Calling it anti-competitive or anti-trust is just another red herring hoisted up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    Critics want Apple to be just another tech company. We all should know that by now.
    edited January 8 bloggerblogBeatswilliamlondon9secondkox2blastdoorscstrrfviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 61
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,000member
    I'd say the opposite is possibly true in the EU. For years Messages has been a rarely used option as far as I can tell while WhatsApp has been a must use for almost every person I know.

    My wife has never ever used Messages for IM. I only know one person that still uses sms for regular messages and that's on Android.

    I use WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber and Signal.

    Every now and then I see waves of people appearing as new users on Telegram but I'd say WhatsApp is still the IM client that reigns supreme here. 
    derekmorrIreneWMplsPscstrrfmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 61
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,129member
    I get irritated when someone in the group has an Android and the entire chat turns green!
    Beatsepicurus13cypresstreescstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 61
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,683member
    I get irritated when someone in the group has an Android and the entire chat turns green!
    Ha ha... So do I. It inevitably leads to some people not getting messages and a thousand messages flying back and forth trying to figure out if everyone is still 'in'. Once a chat turns green I'd rather switch to WhatsApp, which works just fine on my iPhone as well as on my Mac. WhatsAPP also does 'FaceTime style video or voice calls, to either one will do. The ONE thing I miss from ALL messaging apps is a larger text field. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 61
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,950member
    Apple led the way, now the others want it to conform. Yeah, sure.
    I never understood why Europeans went "whole hog" for WhatsApp. WhatsApp won't do anything until the user gives FaceBook access to their entire contacts, which you know gets uploaded whole hog to the mother roach. Before FB owned WhatsApp, it was the same way, and when the news came out that FB was buying the company, I was relieved to not have used it. Signal demands access to contacts, too, but doesn't upload or store them--or so they say.
    williamlondonderekmorrmac_dogDogpersonjcs2305scstrrfviclauyycdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 61
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,695member
    my sister literally went “Ew, that's gross,'" said Maher.

    feel the same way and it’s a turn off also when I find a girl owns a droid. Not because they’re green but because they have a knockoff iPhone. Reminds me of people who think they’re rich wearing fake jewelry and knockoff Gucci.

    Apple isn’t obligated to give anything away for free no matter what Epic says. Though I’ve argued iMessage+FaceTime for $1/month for knockoff iPhones/knockoff iPads would have been a great idea pre-FaceTime on browsers.

    iMessage alone isn’t reason enough to switch/stick with real iPhones. Apple needs to stop playing with Apple Arcade and make some really good games with it. Games that encourage online play. Maybe add in iMessage and FaceTime support to the games. Improving Maps would help. I always supported the idea of Apple buying Yelp as it would make Maps more interesting. iCloud is too stingy with storage and TV+ has an ugly name and not much content yet.


    9secondkox2viclauyyc
  • Reply 7 of 61
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,695member
    Sorry have to finish my reply here. The Italic settings were driving me crazy. AI needs to fix their forum.

    Anyways, the woman who mentioned iMessage/FaceTime being a social network hit on something. Some time ago people on here were arguing that Apple needs to make a social platform and a user mentioned iMessage being a successful one. I never thought about it that was but it makes sense.
    blastdoorscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 61
    rraburrabu Posts: 254member
    When they first announced iMessage Steve Jobs said they were opening it up as an open standard. That was back when tech mattered more to Apple than money. Really too bad we now have these million different closed messaging systems instead…
  • Reply 9 of 61
    roakeroake Posts: 780member

    Green Texts Matter!

    Defund the Blue!  Boycott Apple!

    Brandon Bans Blue!

    Let’s see… what other trivial thing can we make into a political or racist issue…?

    edited January 8 scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 61
    Beats said:
    my sister literally went “Ew, that's gross,'" said Maher.

    feel the same way and it’s a turn off also when I find a girl owns a droid. Not because they’re green but because they have a knockoff iPhone. Reminds me of people who think they’re rich wearing fake jewelry and knockoff Gucci.

    Apple isn’t obligated to give anything away for free no matter what Epic says. Though I’ve argued iMessage+FaceTime for $1/month for knockoff iPhones/knockoff iPads would have been a great idea pre-FaceTime on browsers.

    iMessage alone isn’t reason enough to switch/stick with real iPhones. Apple needs to stop playing with Apple Arcade and make some really good games with it. Games that encourage online play. Maybe add in iMessage and FaceTime support to the games. Improving Maps would help. I always supported the idea of Apple buying Yelp as it would make Maps more interesting. iCloud is too stingy with storage and TV+ has an ugly name and not much content yet.


    do people really think like this? that's the most ignorant bs I've ever heard in my life. if your phone brand is half of your personality something tells me you've got bigger issues than what someone else uses. 
    williamlondonkingofsomewherehotBeatsDogpersonmuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtdewmeviclauyyc
  • Reply 11 of 61
    this is literally what bluebubbles is for. 
    plus the UI is nice. I love my samsung but the default SMS app just doesn't look great. the type of phone you use is your choice and if you want to be unique and use an android that's your choice go for it. weather your bubbles come up blue or green it doesn't matter and if the most important thing in someone's life is the color of their bubbles and the type of phone other people are using I've gotta say that's a really sad reality. while imessage is a proprietary system it's not impossible to have it on android. 
    williamlondonscstrrfmuthuk_vanalingamviclauyyc
  • Reply 12 of 61
    lkrupp said:
    SMS is SMS is SMS. Apple’s iMessages is their proprietary system and I think they are under no obligation to produce cross-platform versions of it unless they choose to, like Apple Music. Calling it anti-competitive or anti-trust is just another red herring hoisted up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    Critics want Apple to be just another tech company. We all should know that by now.
    Maybe Google should stop making cross platform apps for iPhones. Imagine your iPhone without one of the many apps made available to you by Google, including Google Search. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 61
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,950member
    rrabu said:
    When they first announced iMessage Steve Jobs said they were opening it up as an open standard. That was back when tech mattered more to Apple than money. Really too bad we now have these million different closed messaging systems instead…
    I don't believe Jobs ever said that for iMessage. iMessage was introduced by Scott Forstall.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrBIgjodpFs

    Jobs indicated FaceTime would be an open standard, though. Speculation as to why that hasn't happened includes issues with patents owned by others.
    williamlondonbloggerblogDogpersonscstrrfrrabuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 61
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,950member
    dmorgan said:
    lkrupp said:
    SMS is SMS is SMS. Apple’s iMessages is their proprietary system and I think they are under no obligation to produce cross-platform versions of it unless they choose to, like Apple Music. Calling it anti-competitive or anti-trust is just another red herring hoisted up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    Critics want Apple to be just another tech company. We all should know that by now.
    Maybe Google should stop making cross platform apps for iPhones. Imagine your iPhone without one of the many apps made available to you by Google, including Google Search. 
    Imagine Google not wanting every opportunity to track us. (I can't.)
    williamlondonbloggerblogBeatsDogpersonscstrrfviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 61
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,022member
    Beats said:
    my sister literally went “Ew, that's gross,'" said Maher.

    feel the same way and it’s a turn off also when I find a girl owns a droid. Not because they’re green but because they have a knockoff iPhone. Reminds me of people who think they’re rich wearing fake jewelry and knockoff Gucci.

    Apple isn’t obligated to give anything away for free no matter what Epic says. Though I’ve argued iMessage+FaceTime for $1/month for knockoff iPhones/knockoff iPads would have been a great idea pre-FaceTime on browsers.

    iMessage alone isn’t reason enough to switch/stick with real iPhones. Apple needs to stop playing with Apple Arcade and make some really good games with it. Games that encourage online play. Maybe add in iMessage and FaceTime support to the games. Improving Maps would help. I always supported the idea of Apple buying Yelp as it would make Maps more interesting. iCloud is too stingy with storage and TV+ has an ugly name and not much content yet.


    Well said. Apple is poised to dominate all of these. But they don’t. They just mess around, being content with dominating in phones and PCs. But they could easily dominate Google and game consoles if they actually decided to get serious. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 61
    dmorgan said:
    lkrupp said:
    SMS is SMS is SMS. Apple’s iMessages is their proprietary system and I think they are under no obligation to produce cross-platform versions of it unless they choose to, like Apple Music. Calling it anti-competitive or anti-trust is just another red herring hoisted up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    Critics want Apple to be just another tech company. We all should know that by now.
    Maybe Google should stop making cross platform apps for iPhones. Imagine your iPhone without one of the many apps made available to you by Google, including Google Search. 
    I don’t have to imagine, that is the current state of my phone and it works fine without any Google apps. 
    williamlondonBeatsgenovelleJaiOh81Dogpersonscstrrfbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 61
    dmorgan said:
    lkrupp said:
    SMS is SMS is SMS. Apple’s iMessages is their proprietary system and I think they are under no obligation to produce cross-platform versions of it unless they choose to, like Apple Music. Calling it anti-competitive or anti-trust is just another red herring hoisted up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    Critics want Apple to be just another tech company. We all should know that by now.
    Maybe Google should stop making cross platform apps for iPhones. Imagine your iPhone without one of the many apps made available to you by Google, including Google Search. 
    Laughable and ignorant, and for your first post - go to MacRumors, you'll find like-minded gutter slime there.
    BeatsDogpersonscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 61
    cpsro said:
    Apple led the way, now the others want it to conform. Yeah, sure.
    I never understood why Europeans went "whole hog" for WhatsApp. WhatsApp won't do anything until the user gives FaceBook access to their entire contacts, which you know gets uploaded whole hog to the mother roach. Before FB owned WhatsApp, it was the same way, and when the news came out that FB was buying the company, I was relieved to not have used it. Signal demands access to contacts, too, but doesn't upload or store them--or so they say.
    Apple messed up by being late to market with dual SIM
    williamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 61
    I get where the green text haters are coming from. The majority of people that I communicate with have iPhones, so it has become seamless to send them pictures, documents or other items. For the occasional green texter, I have to deal with error messages and having to convert to a format that their mobile phone will accept. Because it is infrequent (thank goodness!), I sometimes don't remember what format I need to use, so it just becomes a bigger hurtle to navigate. 
    edited January 8 williamlondonscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 61
    Hahahaha. Oh wait, you're serious. Hahahahaha. Ha. Haha. Wow.

    -napple


    Beats said:
    my sister literally went “Ew, that's gross,'" said Maher.

    feel the same way and it’s a turn off also when I find a girl owns a droid. Not because they’re green but because they have a knockoff iPhone. Reminds me of people who think they’re rich wearing fake jewelry and knockoff Gucci.

    Apple isn’t obligated to give anything away for free no matter what Epic says. Though I’ve argued iMessage+FaceTime for $1/month for knockoff iPhones/knockoff iPads would have been a great idea pre-FaceTime on browsers.

    iMessage alone isn’t reason enough to switch/stick with real iPhones. Apple needs to stop playing with Apple Arcade and make some really good games with it. Games that encourage online play. Maybe add in iMessage and FaceTime support to the games. Improving Maps would help. I always supported the idea of Apple buying Yelp as it would make Maps more interesting. iCloud is too stingy with storage and TV+ has an ugly name and not much content yet.



    williamlondonwatto_cobra
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