Facebook Lobbying for Option to Make Messenger Default on iOS

Facebook is now actively seeking an option to make its Messenger app the default app for messages on iPhones, reports The Information.

iu 1

Emboldened by changes in iOS 14 that allow users to set a default email and browser app of their choice, Facebook believes it now has a more persuasive case to argue for a similar change for messaging apps. Last year, Apple also allowed Siri to send messages through other apps.

"We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone," said Facebook's vice president Stan Chudnovsky, who is in charge of its Messenger app. "Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway."

Chudnovksy revealed that Facebook has repeatedly asked Apple to consider adding an option for users to select a messaging app of their choice.

"For any other developer in the [messaging] space, it isn't really a level playing field" on Apple’s platform, Chudnovsky stated. If Apple mirrored Android's approach, he said, it would "allow us to compete more fairly where iOS is dominant."

When asked why Apple is unwilling to cede the ability to set a different default messaging app, Chudnovsky said his "main guess is that messaging drives hardware sales."

If Apple did consider such a change, it would require additional changes to allow SMS texts to be received via third-party apps, which is not currently possible on iOS, and more invasive alterations for setting up third-party apps with SMS verification codes. The move would require more substantial and invasive changes to the way iOS functions than the ability to change default browser, for example.

Facebook is intending to merge Instagram and Messenger chats, and the platform is increasingly central to Facebook's business.

Facebook appears to be joining other companies such as Epic Games in a willingness to risk provoking Apple for the chance of potential reward. Yesterday, a range of companies, including Epic Games, Spotify, and Tile, have formed a new organization called the "Coalition for App Fairness," in an effort to highlight developer issues with Apple.

"Users deserve freedom of choice and option to decide the music, mail, chat, or any other necessary app that suits them best," said a spokeswoman for the organization, mirroring Facebook's sentiments.

Facebook has recently heavily criticized Apple for restrictions on gaming apps, ad targeting, and in-app purchases. Last month, Facebook warned advertisers that Apple's upcoming anti-tracking tools could cause a more than 50 percent drop in Audience Network publisher revenue due to the removal of personalization from ads within apps. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also referred to Apple's App Store as monopolistic and harmful to customers. Apple "blocks innovation, blocks competition," and uses the ‌App Store‌ to "charge monopoly rents," he said.

This new development represents yet another front upon which Apple is facing pressure regarding antitrust and monopoly issues.

Top Rated Comments

yaxomoxay Avatar
22 months ago
hell no
Score: 96 Votes (Like | Disagree)
crawfish963 Avatar
22 months ago
LOL!

Yeah, ok Zuck.
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bttrdg Avatar
22 months ago
What a stupid idea.
Score: 71 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeeW Avatar
22 months ago
All I want is to retain the option never to install Messenger.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SDJim Avatar
22 months ago
Ew.
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redgreenski Avatar
22 months ago
Yeah so you can sell my data and advertising companies... no thank you.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature Dock 2

Apple Defends App Store Changes in the Netherlands as Fines Reach €30 Million

Monday February 28, 2022 9:32 am PST by
Amid an ongoing dispute with the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands over the App Store, Apple has defended its plan to require app developers to submit an additional app binary for the Dutch storefront if they wish to use a third-party payment processing method. The ACM has ruled that Apple must allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment...
Facebook Watch Feature

Facebook Wants to Replace Your Apple Watch

Friday August 6, 2021 3:05 am PDT by
Facebook is developing a health and messaging-focused smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch, according to recent reports. The Information and The Verge have reported Facebook's internal plans to bring an Apple Watch-style smartwatch to market. Facebook's smartwatch is said to work with a cellular connection without the need for a tethered smartphone. It will apparently run a version...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Readies Message Reactions for iPhone and Android

Wednesday February 2, 2022 4:21 am PST by
WhatsApp's plan to bring iMessage-style message reactions to the massively popular chat platform appears to be entering its final stages, based on new screenshots shared by WABetaInfo. WhatsApp has been working on message reactions – or "Tapbacks" in Apple Messages parlance – for some time, with evidence of their development first coming to light last summer. The feature gives...
whatsapp disappearing messages default

WhatsApp Makes Disappearing Messages a Default Option With Multiple Durations

Tuesday December 7, 2021 2:13 am PST by
WhatsApp says it is rolling out a new option that makes disappearing messages the default behavior for all new chats on the end-to-end encrypted messaging platform. It's been over a year since WhatsApp launched its disappearing messages feature, which allows messages, photos, and videos to be marked to disappear after seven days. The feature can be enabled for direct messages and in groups...
facebook

Facebook Crowned 'Worst Company of 2021' by New Survey

Sunday December 19, 2021 3:47 am PST by
Facebook, otherwise known as Meta, has been crowned the worst company of the year, following a turbulent 12 months of controversies, public backlash, and an eventual entire rebrand of the social media giant, according to a survey conducted by Yahoo Finance. Yahoo Finance every year crowns the best company of the year, with Microsoft taking the top spot for 2021. This year, however, Yahoo...
maxresdefault

Hands On: Testing Fortnite on iOS Using GeForce NOW

Thursday February 17, 2022 11:54 am PST by
Fortnite has been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple banned it from the App Store in August 2020 amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, but the battle royale game is coming back to iOS devices thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW gaming service. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. GeForce NOW is a browser-based gaming service that will allow iPhone ...
Facebook Feature

Facebook Bringing Voice and Video Calling Back to Main App After Moving Them to Messenger

Monday August 23, 2021 4:09 pm PDT by
Facebook is re-adding voice and video calling features to its main Facebook app after moving the features to Messenger back in 2014, reports Bloomberg. Users in some countries including the United States are now able to make voice or video calls directly from the Facebook app. As of now, Facebook is testing the feature, which is meant to cut down on the number of times that Facebook users...
facebook meta

Facebook Wants to Open 'Welcoming' Retail Stores Where People Can Experience the 'Metaverse'

Friday November 5, 2021 4:17 am PDT by
Facebook, now rebranded to Meta, is looking to open physical retail stores where customers will be able to experience the wide range of products it has to offer, such as Oculus headsets, in a "welcoming" and "judgment-free" experience, according to a new report from The New York Times. The report says that Facebook executives began floating the idea of a physical retail store last year, but...

Popular Stories

anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...