What will iMessage learn from WhatsApp and other chat applications in 2021?

As we wait for the substantial iOS 14.5 update, a Bloomberg article claims that Apple is focusing on iMessage updates that will make it more like a social network to cope with global chat networks like WhatsApp.

According to Forbes, iMessage still outperforms other messaging apps in several areas, most notably stability, thanks to end-to-end encryption and ongoing back-end enhancements in iOS 14. iMessage also functions well across Apple’s mobile network, allowing for message compatibility and connections on both large and small screens.

So, what does Apple benefit from competing chat apps?

There are obvious solutions, such as taking iMessage to Android, which Apple has opposed for more than a decade, according to new data. Extending it to a certain smartphone operating system may be seen as a loss of a capability that only iPhones and iPads have.

The less visible shifts, according to Bloomberg, could revolve around the ‘social network’ path – a direction that many messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp, Line, and others, have developed into. Here are some of the major ways iMessage could develop from a simple messaging service to something much more.

Next frontier is social media!!

We don’t expect iMessage to go full Facebook when we say “social media,” but seeing how facets of social media have crept into other messaging services, it makes sense for Apple’s to finally follow suit.

While most messaging applications meet the standard ‘social networking‘ standards of directly exchanging texts, images, and videos with other users, others have added additional public sharing and voice features.

WhatsApp and Line, for example, all have personal accounts that are available to other friends, allow users to post status notes, and have material history (whether it’s tweets or stories) through a timeline. A personal storey arises as a result of this, as well as ways for other users to engage with one another.

Apple has also set the groundwork for some of these interactions: if you use the wellness app to swap exercise experience with contacts, you’ll be asked to answer when they complete a workout, and vice versa. Related actions, including those not monitored by Apple devices or goods, should be exchanged, or publicly posted.

iMessage is now set up to communicate with other social media features, such as community messaging and more complex communication experiences including message replies. It also has an Apple Pay payment mechanism that is well-integrated and stable, making it ideal for a public exchange like Facebook Marketplace.

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