In an earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pointed that the social network’s “biggest competitor by far” in terms of messaging is Apple’s Messages app, according to CNBC. Apple Messages comes pre-installed on every iOS device, which affects Facebook’s market share. iOS users have to go to the App Store and install the Facebook app, Facebook’s Messenger app, and WhatsApp.
“It’s worth noting that one of the main reasons people prefer our services, especially WhatsApp, is because of its stronger record on privacy,” said Zuckerberg via CNBC. “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. And this is important because if our systems can’t see your messages, then that means that governments and bad actors won’t be able to access them through us either.”
One of the reasons why Zuckerberg made this point is because people send about 100 billion messages per day and many of them contain photos, videos, and links. And this method of communication is an alternative to sharing on social networks. So Facebook has been driving a lot of its growth through messaging apps, including with the $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp several years ago.
Facebook’s market share is better in areas of the world where Android has a larger presence. But in the U.S., iOS has a larger market share and Facebook is not growing as quickly in terms of messaging.
Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been taking some shots at each other since the Cambridge Analytica scandal occurred. Cook was asked earlier this year how he would handle the Cambridge Analytica scandal if it happened to Apple.
“I wouldn’t be in this situation,” said Cook in response. And Cook has been criticizing companies that monetize user data since then.