Facebook executives have sharply ramped up their criticism of Apple in recent months, contesting the iPhone maker’s restrictions on gaming apps and ad targeting, as well as its cut of in-app purchases. Now, emboldened by Apple software changes that suggest it is starting to bend, Facebook wants something else: the option to make its Messenger app the default messaging tool on iPhones.
“We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone,” Stan Chudnovsky, the Facebook vice president in charge of its Messenger app, told The Information. “Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway.”
Chudnovksy said Facebook has asked Apple over the years to consider opening up default messaging. Apple has never agreed. Apple’s Messages app is a core feature of its mobile software that encourages people to keep buying its devices, and the app’s encryption of messages is also a cornerstone of the company’s privacy pitch to consumers. Google’s rival Android mobile operating system already lets users choose their default messaging app.