WhatsApp is going to allow users to send messages and chat with people on other messaging apps

The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) will force companies to open up their walled gardens, however WhatsApp has been working on cross-app support for years.

1 minute & 39 seconds read time

Interoperability with other encrypted messaging apps is what it will be called when the popular messaging app WhatsApp adds the ability for users to send and receive messages from people using a completely different communication app like Messenger, iMessage, or Signal.

WhatsApp is going to allow users to send messages and chat with people on other messaging apps 01

WhatsApp boasts around 2 billion users globally, and this notable update arrives courtesy of compliance with new EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) legislation. According to the new law, companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Meta must open up their core services to others - with a DMA compliance date of March 2024.

According to a new report at Wired, the WhatsApp team has been working on adding this feature for years - letting people chat across apps without impacting end-to-end encryption. So, it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

The service will be opt-in, with interoperability coming to WhatsApp and Messenger, allowing communication between users covering text, images, voice messages, videos, and file transfer. Group chat could be a ways off as the Digital Markets Act states that this functionality has to be implemented 'within 2 years from the designation.'

For WhatsApp users, these 'third-party chats' will be lumped into a new and separate section of their Inbox. Interoperability between communication apps like this is great to see. However, any company that wants to open up communication with WhatsApp users must sign an agreement and comply with its terms.

As each app uses different ways to encrypt information, it will force some to adopt more common protocols like the Signal encryption protocol - which is used by WhatsApp, Signal, Messenger, Google Messages, and Skype. Different encryption protocols will be allowed; however, these will need to meet certain security standards.

With WhatsApp being a closed system, other communication app developers and publishers are raising concerns about not knowing what will happen to user data once it's sent. As part of its in-depth article, Wired reached out to several owners of messaging and chat services about the change and whether they had plans to work with WhatsApp, "the majority of companies didn't respond to the request for comment."

A move like this opens the door to security, privacy, and other concerns, and when it comes to companies like Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, sharing information freely has yet to be on the cards.

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NEWS SOURCE:wired.com

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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