WhatsApp To Introduce Third-party Chat Integration
WhatsApp, a messaging platform owned by Meta, is set to introduce Third-party messaging apps on its platform. This is ahead of the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA) taking place in March 2024.
This was revealed by Dick Brouwer, a Director at WhatsApp in an online interview. He stated that the company is prepared to offer interoperability on its platform, catering to its over 2 billion users.
Brouwer highlighted the challenge of balancing the provision of interoperability for third parties while maintaining WhatsApp’s standards of privacy, security and integrity. He expressed contentment with the current approach, saying” I think we are pretty happy with where we’ve landed”.
The EU had incorporated messaging interoperability into the DMA in 2022, mandating platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger to open their services to other chat applications.
Meta has integrated support for additional chat apps into Messenger. Initially, this integration will focus on one-on-one chats, enabling users to exchange text, audio, video, images and files across apps. This feature will be accessible through new a sub-menu labelled “Third-party chats”.
Brouwer, who spearheaded the implementation of end-to-end encryption fit Messenger last, emphasised that this integration will be opt-in to mitigate spam and scams. He explained, ” 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 scam”.
According to Meta, companies seeking interoperability with Meta’s system will be required to enter into agreements, the details of which remain undisclosed. WhatsApp will mandate end-to-end encryption to enable interoperability.
Brouwer cautioned that third-party chats and WhatsApp’s native chats may not achieve feature parity, as interoperability could introduce new privacy and security concerns.