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PSA: Group FaceTime’s Video Chat Not Available on Older iOS Devices


I recently succumbed to the allure of Apple iOS 12 update. I had been holding out because the 2 GB of required space just to download the update was significant, especially on a 16 GB iPhone with barely enough room to keep all of my music and photos. As I pondered the pros and cons of making this commitment, I realized how similar my dilemma was to the concept of diffusion through networks that we have been learning about in class. I was forced to make a choice, between A) update my phone, or B) leave my phone the way it was. This potential adopting behavior I was looking at doing had some clear upsides and downsides. In the end, it came down to what my closest friends were doing. It was clear to me, my social network neighbors would provide greater benefits with the larger fraction of them that chose to adopt this new behavior, the update. Specifically, I looked at what direct benefits I would be missing out on if I chose not to update my phone. The main one for me was Group FaceTime. As described in the article, Group Facetime comes only with iOS 12 and on newer devices. Luckily, I have a new enough model to be compatible with the update and be able to utilize Group FaceTime. If I chose not to update, I would have the direct benefits of keeping my current allocation of storage intact and not risking the potential bugs that accompany a new update. If I chose to update to iOS 12, I would gain the ability to use Group FaceTime with my friends, an awesome new ability to collaborate and connect with multiple peers simultaneously who all have busy schedules and different places that we call home.

Initially, I was hesitant to adopt the update. I didn’t want to part with any of my downloaded music or photos and not many of my friends seemed to be all that enthusiastic about Group FaceTime. However, over a period of a week or so, I changed my outlook. A group of high school friends wanted to use Group FaceTime to plan a winter break get together and I was at a crossroads. Suddenly, an important portion of my friends were pressuring me to adopt a new behavior. I realized the benefits of switching were greater than staying without the update and I cleared some space and let the update run its course. I was impressed to see how the topic of diffusion of behaviors can lead to cascades in my own life. I saw that I had a certain threshold that needed to be surpassed before I would choose to adopt the new update. I was able to increase my payoffs as the fraction of close friends who adopted the update increased and caused me to switch over as well. So, I ask you, have you updated your iPhone and tried the new Group Facetime?


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