Meta attacks Apple’s iMessage in new WhatsApp ad campaign

The Apple vs. Meta rivalry heated up this week as the company behind Facebook launched a new ad campaign targeting Apple’s iMessage. On Monday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off a digital billboard on social media that pokes fun at the green and blue bubbles on iMessage while promoting end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp.

“WhatsApp is far more private and secure than iMessage, with end-to-end encryption that works across both iPhones and Android, including group chats,” Zuckerberg said, picking a fight with Apple over one of its most important services.

“With WhatsApp you can also set all new chats to disappear with the tap of a button,” added Zuckerberg, twisting the knife. “And last year we introduced end-to-end encrypted backups too. All of which iMessage still doesn’t have.”

Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, published a series of tweets going into even greater detail about the privacy and security WhatsApp offers over iMessage:

If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably noticed when your texts change color out of the blue. That means your message was sent via SMS. This reduced privacy – happens without warning or your consent. WhatsApp is far more private and secure for many reasons. On WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption is automatic, and it works whether you – or your friends – are using iPhones or Androids, including for group chats, so you can count on your messages and calls being securely delivered to the person you’re communicating with. WhatsApp has more privacy features too, like disappearing message threads, media messages that can only be viewed once, and the ability to set all new chats to automatically disappear with the tap of a button. These are all privacy features iMessage doesn’t have.

The ad campaign is much more than just the billboard in New York City. Meta spokesperson Vispi Bhopti told The Verge that ads “will appear on broadcast TV, digital video, outdoor, and social across the United States,” as well as on billboards in California.

More Meta coverage: Facebook found 400 malicious apps that steal your login – here’s how to protect yourself

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