Facebook is down? Welcome to Apple's invisible social media platform - no Android users allowed9
- Apple loves taking shots at Facebook by bringing up privacy concerns and "fixing" the platform for Apple users - most recently with App Tracking Transparency
- Apple isn't really active on social media, save for their Instagram page for sharing pictures taken on iPhone, or their Twitter sub-pages like Apple News, or Apple Support
- Apple doesn't directly utilize social media for advertising, or marketing campaigns unless it's via paid promotion
Many say Apple isn't very active on social media platforms, essentially because the company doesn't want to open the lane for negative comments. For example, you can see a bunch of these under Apple's Facebook profile photo, and that's because people don't have anywhere else to put them. The company's YouTube page disables comments for videos, but allows likes/dislikes, and all in all, it almost feels like Apple has Twitter and Facebook accounts just because.
If we think about it, Apple is like that control freak partner, who wants to pull the strings, so that might be another reason for their lack of social media activity. The iPhone is an epitome of that - everything from the hardware to software is designed and controlled by Apple, and how can you argue against that? It's what allows your 5+ years of software updates, for example.
Facebook is down, Twitter is up, Apple is... what?!
hello literally everyone— Twitter (@Twitter) October 4, 2021
In the mids of Facebook's meltdown, which naturally dragged WhatsApp and Instagram down too, people scrambled to find other ways to... keep doing what they usually do - chat, share media, and mainly consume, consume, and consume.
To understand the opportunity on the table when something like that happens, we need to look at Twitter - the biggest platform that welcomed "literally everyone" within two hours of Facebook-owned apps going down at around 11:40 a.m. ET on Monday.
Millions of new people have joined Signal today and our messaging and calling have been up and running but some people aren't seeing all of their contacts appear on Signal. We're working hard to fix this up.— Signal (@signalapp) October 4, 2021
What would an Apple social media platform look like?
iMessage on Android
For starters, if iMessage came to Android, Apple would undoubtedly lose more than it'll gain. iPhone-exclusives like iMessage, FaceTime, Airdrop, iMovie, or even Mac-exclusives like Final Cut, or Logic, are things that keep people within the bubble. It's literally why many people get an iPhone.
And no, I'm not attaching a negative connotation to "bubble". It's what allows Apple to have better control over software, which in return helps getting the long-term updates that everyone loves, bug fixes, security patches, and "magical" things like when you start an iMessage chat on iPhone and finish it on your Mac.
An Apple social media platform
iMessage aside, what would an Apple social media platform look like, anyway? What if it was an Apple-exclusive like iMessage? Or "for everyone" - like Apple Music? It'd be exciting to see Apple's take on it. I'd imagine privacy would be at the core of the project - as expected, but also functional design. Many say iPhones are easy to use. I'd argue that's not always true, but I can't argue with Apple's sales.
In the end: Apple already has a social media platform, and you are part of it
- Apple products speak the same language - they connect seamlessly and allow file transfer with Airdrop between all Apple users
- Proprietary apps and services like iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Music, etc., allow users to communicate, engage, and share, which is what apps like Facebook and WhatsApp do.
Is this a walled garden?
iPhones look like any other phone from afar, but if you get a bit closer, you can easily tell an iPhone is an iPhone - the notch that everyone seems to hate but keeps buying; the iconic Apple logo, the weird camera bump. The iPhone can market itself better than any other phone can.
So, the world is Apple's social media; the iPhone-iPad-Mac ecosystem is Apple's social media; you using iMessage is Apple's social media; you sharing photos via Airdrop or iCloud is Apple's social media.