A month ahead of the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA) deadline, Meta-owned WhatsApp is gearing up to enable integration with other messaging networks within its app, which means it will support third-party chat, the media has reported. In an interview with Wired, Dick Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp, revealed that the company is poised to introduce interoperability on its platform, catering to its extensive user base of over 2 billion users.
To recall, in September 2023, WABetaInfo had spotted a beta update update and said that WhatsApp would soon start supporting messaging on other apps. The feature will comply with the DMA under which the platform has to offer interoperability in the region. Under interoperability, the Meta-owned platform will have to allow cross-platform messaging to other users, even if they do not have the app.
“There’s real tension between offering an easy way to offer this interoperability to third parties whilst at the same time preserving the WhatsApp privacy, security, and integrity bar,” Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp who has worked on Meta rolling out encryption to its Messenger app, was quoted as saying by Wired.
“I think we’re pretty happy with where we’ve landed,” he added.
As per Europe’s regulations, interoperability between both WhatsApp and Messenger will primarily revolve around text messaging, sharing images, voice messages, videos and files between individual users, initially.
However, features like calls and group chats will be implemented in the coming years. It’s worth noting that Europe’s upcoming rules exclusively pertain to messaging services, excluding traditional SMS messaging. Brouwer emphasised the importance of user consent in the report and stated: “One of the core requirements here, and this is really important, is for users for this to be opt-in. I can choose whether or not I want to participate in being open to exchanging messages with third parties. This is important because it could be a big source of spam and scams.”
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