As quoted in CIO:
Now Apple is taking a renewed interest in social media, as it prepares to introduce many of today's most popular messaging features in the next version of iOS. Maybe Apple can finally crack the code for social by doing what it does best: Mimicking other companies' technologies, incorporating them into its products and improving the user experience...
The evolution of messaging, social and mobile are inherent functionalities that became a natural extension for Apple with iMessage, says Altimeter Group principal analyst Brian Solis. "I don't know that it's necessarily Apple's intention to do anything in social. I think it's just making iOS 8 and iMessage a much more comprehensive platform that people can use without having to go to disparate apps," he says.
By integrating features enjoyed by users of WhatsApp, Snapchat and others into iMessage, Apple is enhancing value for new and future iOS users without brazenly competing against those startups, says Solis. "Competing at an app level is probably not worth Apple's time. And if it wanted to compete on an app level it would buy one of these. I think this is much more of a functionality standpoint to strengthen the overall universe," he adds.