Zuckerberg says iMessage biggest competitor to Facebook's messaging services, takes dig at...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2018
In a rare concession that Facebook's messaging services are threatened by an industry stalwart, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Apple's iMessage is leading Messenger and WhatsApp in key markets like the U.S.

Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. | Source: Reuters


Zuckerberg's remarks came early in a quarterly earnings conference call for the third quarter of 2018 on Tuesday. The Facebook chief started the call by discussing core products and services, noting the company has identified a shift in the way users are communicating.

Specifically, Facebook is seeing a transition from publicly shared content to private messaging and stories, the latter accomplished through products like Messenger and WhatsApp. While public sharing via Facebook will always be important, sharing over private or semi-private channels is gaining in popularity, Zuckerberg said.

And that puts Facebook and its various tendrils in competition with Apple.

"People share more photos, videos and links on WhatsApp and Messenger than they do on social networks," he said. "We're leading in most countries, but our biggest competitor by far is iMessage and in important countries like the U.S. where the iPhone is strong, Apple bundles iMessage as the default texting app, and it's still ahead. In countries where there's more competition between iOS and Android, like much of Europe, people tend to prefer our services."

Interestingly -- perhaps ironically given the recent outcry over Facebook's business structure -- Zuckerberg cites privacy as one of the main reasons users prefer his company's products over iMessage. In particular, the company's end-to-end encrypted services, like WhatsApp, have a "stronger record on privacy."

In conceding iMessage, and its standing as a "bundled app," is shaping up to be a tough challenge in what he views as a burgeoning private messaging industry, Zuckerberg took the opportunity to hit back at Apple and CEO Tim Cook.

"WhatsApp is completely end-to-end encrypted, does not store your messages and doesn't store the keys to your messages in China or anywhere else," Zuckerberg said. "And this is important because if our systems can't see your messages, then that means governments and bad actors won't be able to access them through us either."

The China comment pokes a sore spot for Apple, which has been criticized for kowtowing to the country's censorship-happy regime in return for continued access to a vast well of consumers. Notably, Apple at the behest of China's government recently migrated Chinese iCloud data to in-country servers run by partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co. Ltd. The initial move stirred controversy, but a subsequent "infrastructure agreement" with state-owned Tianyi Cloud service seemed to fly in the face of Apple's widely touted assurances against government snooping.

Cook over the past months has consistently criticized companies like Google and Facebook for participating in data monetization strategies. The executive delivered a pointed, no holds barred rebuke of such practices in a speech at the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Brussels last week, saying personal data collection amounts to "surveillance."

"Our own information is being weaponized against us with military efficiency," Cook said, coining the phenomenon as the "data-industrial complex."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    iMessage is the best. Keep it strong 💪 
    mac_doglostkiwimagman1979racerhomie3toysandmestanthemanlolliveranton zuykovwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 17
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,016member
    Why does Whatsapp need 90Mb of space? Why does Messager need another 50Mb on top of that again?

    What is it doing with all that space and bloat, answer that and I'm sure you'll see why iMessage is popular.

    magman1979chabiglolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Well according to Cook who puts the company at risk if he misleads shareholders, said quite clearly that the keys to encryption remains with the customer. The difference is for unencrypted data stored on iCloud China can request access via China’s courts instead of having to go through a US court to handle a Chinese matter. With the servers I’m China the jurisdiction changes. Can you imagine is going to a Chinese court to get information on a domestic case? 


    lostkiwiracerhomie3chabiglolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 669member
    He deflected the attention awfully quickly. That says a lot. 
    magman1979olsfotoformatlolliveranton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    WhatsApp doesn't store your messages? Really? So what actually happens when you type a message and hit send, and the person you're messaging is on an airplane or otherwise cannot receive messages?
    magman1979beowulfschmidtchabiglolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Fraudbook has done more societal damage (that continues) than any of Apple's actions in China. 
    racerhomie3mac_dogolstoysandmebadmonkstanthemanchabiglolliveranton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,108member
    I wonder if Zucky knows iMessage has been E2E encrypted from day one. Unlike WhatsApp. 
    racerhomie3olslolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 17
    so... er... if whatsapp & messenger are E2E encrypted, how do they know what's being shared? how do they make money off it? genuine question.
    bonobobracerhomie3olstoysandmestanthemanlolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 17
    WTF is iMessage? I have an app called Messages ... and it‘s pretty darn good.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    so... er... if whatsapp & messenger are E2E encrypted, how do they know what's being shared? how do they make money off it? genuine question.
    And a very good question. 

    Well, to begin with, we really only have Facebook's word on exactly how their system works, because only Facebook has access to the source code that is actually running on their servers and your device. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt, because no one else will.

    The trick to all of this is using your various platforms to tie disparate bits of information together to build a profile of the user you're targeting. Without accessing your messages, WhatsApp has a number of ways to get hold of valuable information that, in some cases, you have to give them to use the platform.

    First thing is your phone number, which they they share with the Facebook platform so they can can use it to look you up on Facebook, and now they have another app that is with you all the time which you're happy to tell where you're going.  We now also know that Facebook uses its own 2FA security system to target users for advertising, which is beyond criminal in my opinion. If you use WhatsApp while you're out and about, then the app knows where you're going (if you have allowed it access to your location data, which many people do, strangely enough), which it can also share with Facebook's advertising platform and whatever else it sells to third parties.  WhatsApp knows which restaurants you like to eat at, which movies you went to see. If you post photos to WhatsApp then they can use information stored with the picture to get a view on what sort of holidays you might like to take, and target you in that way.

    Don't think of the messages as the stuff they're after. What they want you to do is give their apps deeper and deeper access to your personal data. The messaging aspect is just what they use to lure you in. 

    edited October 2018 Carnagebeowulfschmidtstanthemanlolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 17
    The recent Frontline pieces on Facebook are illuminating and well worth watching.

    The more and more one sees Zuckerberg's appearances, the more he comes off as a used car salesman.  The "VP of Social Good" (whatever the heck that is supposed to mean), came off as lightweight, offering nothing but vague deflections to questions like a PR flack.  The only current Facebook representative interviewed who had any credibility was the VP of Global Affairs; she's a former government prosecutor, and it showed.

    On the flip side, the litany of former employees interviewed, along with those who haven't been (like Whatsapp's founders) who have expressed their concerns about the company's behavior, is quite a contrast to the PR defenses and repeated happy talk.  The former security chief also presented a credible voice, even though he has criticized Apple's potshots.

    Make no mistake, Apple is in a delicate situation as well.  Every company that wishes to, or does business in China is in the same boat.

    But what counts most is how a company reacts to a crisis and we've had a chance to see what the results are..  Facebook has been tested, failed, and remains defiant.  Apple has yet to be tested, at last in China, but its actions in response to the FBI and other LE efforts in the U.S. still present a clear contrast.

    At least for now, one company clearly recognizes the responsibility it has to its users, while the other still does not.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,458member
    I have rarely seen an iOS user use Messages and only receive sms from one person who I know uses a Huawei phone so his messages aren't coming out of messages and being received as sms on my end.

    This makes sense seeing as 80% of instant messaging users don't have the Messages app and all iOS users have access to WhatsApp and other alternatives - and many have it (and the alternatives) installed.

    WhatsApp dominates in many parts of the world, WeChat probably dominates in China, Line probably in Japan and for secrecy, Signal and Telegram are the preferred options.

    WhatsApp messages (all encrypted) pass through WhatsApp servers and may stay there for up to 30 days if they cannot be delivered because the recipient hasn't connected, for example.

    It is true that many people probably don't know that WhatsApp is Facebook but in Spain, and Europe as a whole, WhatsApp is probably dominating the instant messaging landscape. Some major carriers even have plans that don't include WhatsApp data as data consumption on their plans.


    edited October 2018 Carnage
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Rayz2016 said:
    And a very good question. 

    .....

    The trick to all of this is using your various platforms to tie disparate bits of information together to build a profile of the user you're targeting. Without accessing your messages, WhatsApp has a number of ways to get hold of valuable information that, in some cases, you have to give them to use the platform.

    First thing is your phone number, which they they share with the Facebook platform so they can can use it to look you up on Facebook, and now they have another app that is with you all the time which you're happy to tell where you're going.  We now also know that Facebook uses its own 2FA security system to target users for advertising, which is beyond criminal in my opinion. If you use WhatsApp while you're out and about, then the app knows where you're going (if you have allowed it access to your location data, which many people do, strangely enough), which it can also share with Facebook's advertising platform and whatever else it sells to third parties.  WhatsApp knows which restaurants you like to eat at, which movies you went to see. If you post photos to WhatsApp then they can use information stored with the picture to get a view on what sort of holidays you might like to take, and target you in that way.

    Don't think of the messages as the stuff they're after. What they want you to do is give their apps deeper and deeper access to your personal data. The messaging aspect is just what they use to lure you in. 

    Exactly. People would be surprised about the amount of Information one can get out of metadata.

    Privacy is becoming more and more an Illusion.

    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Fraudbook has done more societal damage (that continues) than
    of Apple's actions in China. 
    and let me add a link to support this point

    Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match
      
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/21/world/asia/facebook-sri-lanka-riots.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    Screw you MZ, fix your own garden before casting accusations against others.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    No it is not, Mr. Zuckerberg. Just improve quality of calls and allow controlling that spam that comes after subscribing to someone's page. it should not come to messages in the first place and subscribing to PM is not the same as following page on FB. Time to understand the difference.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Reminder to the author: There is no iMessage app anymore. It’s just called Messages. The “thing” one sends inside of Messages is called an iMessage.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Just because a server is in some country that has dubious laws does not mean they can read the data. If Apple can’t read the E2E encrypted data what makes you think China has that ability and why do you think Apple bowed to China to allow this access when they told the FBI to suck eggs?

    Sure China is an important market but it’s not that important of a market that Cook and crew will allow unfettered access to data. Think rationally people not emotionally.

    Zuckerberg is nothing but a FUD packer trying to deflect the fact that his company WOULD unencrypt data if asked by China.
    watto_cobra
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