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Apple wants to add social features to iMessage

 Apple wants to add social features to iMessage

Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on improvements to iMessage that should help it compete with the more powerful social networking features in Facebook messaging products, such as WhatsApp.

Apple wants to add social features to iMessage

Although the Bloomberg report did not specify the upcoming changes to iMessage or the expected time for their release, these features could increase tensions between Apple and Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg highlighted iMessage as an example of how the two companies became increasingly competitive

  • Zuckerberg said in January: iMessage comes preinstalled across every iPhone and Apple is pushing it forward with APIs and special permissions, which is why it is the most used messaging service in the US.

  • Facebook has focused on encrypted messaging through WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, as it looks to private communications to fuel a new wave of growth for the company.

  • Announcing the company's privacy hub in 2019, Zuckerberg said: I think the future of communications is increasingly shifting to encrypted private services.

  • Meanwhile, Apple continues to launch more privacy features over the iPhone, requiring makers of apps like Facebook to disclose the type of data they collect.

  • And next week, Apple brings a new feature via iOS 14.5, which requires companies, such as Facebook, to obtain user permission to track them through targeted ads.

  • And according to Apple, iMessage does not collect any of the data that Facebook apps collect.

  • From Facebook's perspective, Apple's privacy changes are designed to favor its digital services that focus on privacy and discourage people from using apps like Facebook that collect data.

  • In the months leading up to the arrival of iOS 14.5, Facebook harshly criticized Apple's privacy policies.

  • And Facebook said: Apple's changes are hurting small businesses that rely on targeted ads to provide free services.

  • Apple said: The change is designed to give its customers a clearer view of how apps use their personal data.

  • But the fact that Apple may plan to expand iMessage features after these privacy changes take effect is likely to spur further tensions with Facebook.

  • Moreover, both companies are developing the next wave of computing with augmented reality glasses that could someday eliminate the need to carry a phone, tablet, or another gadget with a screen.

  • Although the battle between Apple and Facebook revolves around privacy today, it is heading over the next few years to become more like the battles of computing platforms that appeared previously, represented by the wars of Windows computers with Mac computers and Android devices with iPhones.