Today in its WWDC keynote, Apple announced a sheaf of changes to its iMessage service, including messages that will self destruct over time, sending short audio and video messages, and group messaging capabilities.
That forces iMessage into the domain of other applications that provide messaging services, like Snapchat and WhatsApp. The latter isn’t too impressed.
Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, an individual who zoomed into the public eye when Facebook bought his company for $19 billion, tweeted out the following:
Apple should feel no guilt: Taking features from standalone providers that have proven resonance with consumers and baking them into your platform-level services is a smart move. Another example from today: Apple’s new cloud storage tool, iCloud Drive, will auto-backup photos from your phone. Microsoft does that already with OneDrive, and I am sure that someone did it before Microsoft.
Regarding messages that self-destruct after a certain amount of time, TechCrunch noted in its live blog that the move “shows [Apple's] awareness of the [consumer] desire to not have shared stuff last forever.” This brings iMessage firmly into the Snapchat space. Or, in other words, Snapchat discovered that consumers love to chat in a way that allows them to leave little to no trail, and Apple listened.
It is, of course, slightly lulzy to watch Koum toss shade on Apple. Apple, as a platform firm, attacked a great number of companies today, putting WhatsApp in good company.