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In a rather strange attempt to promote its own lineup of Android based smartphones, Samsung has posted a collection of animated GIFs that non-iMessage users can use as snarky comebacks to those who put them down for being “green bubble people.”
The issue at hand of course is that since iMessage is a nice, comfortable, and integrated messaging system, it stands to reason that many iPhone users find communicating with other iPhone users to be a far more enjoyable experience. For example, with iMessage you get delivery notifications, an option for read receipts, full-resolution pictures and videos, the ability to use cool effects, stickers, and tapback icons, and of course those very, very sweet blue bubbles that tell you that you’re communicating with a kindred spirit.
On the other hand, text somebody who isn’t using iMessage and you’ll be relegated to the much more archaic world of SMS, denoted by those pesky green bubbles that show you’re communicating with somebody who simply hasn’t experienced the joy of using an Apple product.
SMS is a 20+ year old messaging standard, developed in the era when phones had numeric keypads and two-inch black-and-white screens, and doesn’t support anything more than sending text. Even things like tapback’s and effects, while they can still be sent to an SMS recipient in Apple’s Messages app, will result in simple text descriptions, saying things like “Message Sent with Fireworks Effect” or “Jesse Liked …” and the text of the message you liked. It’s the best Apple can do with a legacy technology like this, but it’s understandably lame by comparison.
Embrace the Green Bubble
In a rather odd marketing campaign, Samsung is basically admitting that not having an iPhone among your iPhone-toting friends will make you an outcast, while encouraging users to wear that status with pride and “commit themselves to becoming a green bubble person.”
As The Verge reports, Samsung has not only created this collection of strange GIFs on Giphy, but it’s reaching out to Instagram meme pages and asking them to share the GIFs with the hashtag #GreenDontCare. The attempts at turning this into a viral social media campaign so far appear to have fallen completely flat, however, and may even be entering bizarro world, making suggestions like green bubble people having more money and therefore girls who are dissing them for not having iPhones will someday appreciate them for what’s in their wallet, rather than the color of their text message bubbles.
Yeah, we don’t get it either.
The GIFs themselves also range from merely bizarre to downright creepy, showing weird animated green chat bubbles that are dominating blue chat bubbles in various ways. For example, one shows a unicorn that stabs a blue chat bubble and turns it green, another shows an iguana that turns a green bubble blue after essentially pouncing on it and attacking it.
The idea, of course, is that these can be used as “comebacks” by non-iPhone users who are put down by their smug iPhone-toting friends, and if your friend is going to be a jerk about the green bubbles they see when texting you, then perhaps they deserve some comeuppance, but we’re not sure that any of the GIFs in Samsung’s new collection, with their slightly violent undertones, are going to get you much more than a strange look, and using one doesn’t seem likely to make the person want to chat with you more.
Although new standards like RCS may someday help to unify the text message experience across platforms — assuming Apple embraces it — for now there’s just no way around the fact that if you’re not an iPhone user, you’re going to be one of those “green bubble people.” While Apple of course hopes the lure of entering the iMessage family will encourage you to actually buy an iPhone, Samsung clearly thinks that it can sell more of its own smartphones by encouraging people to rage against the Apple machine instead, proudly wearing their green bubbles as a badge of honour.