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Sunday, April 14, 2024

WhatsApp working on “third-party chats” feature

This feature aims to enhance user communication by allowing messages from various messaging apps to be received within the WhatsApp platform.

In a bid to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), WhatsApp, a Meta-owned messenger, is reportedly working on a groundbreaking feature named “third-party chats.” This feature aims to enhance user communication by allowing messages from various messaging apps to be received within the WhatsApp platform. The move is seen as a response to the regulatory landscape that seeks to ensure fair practices among large tech companies, especially those deemed “gatekeepers.”  

Digital Markets Act and WhatsApp’s Compliance

The Digital Markets Act is a regulatory framework designed to govern the behavior of major tech companies that wield significant influence over the digital market. WhatsApp, being a dominant player in the messaging market, falls under the purview of this legislation. One of the key requirements outlined in the DMA is the promotion of interoperability, allowing users to communicate seamlessly across different messaging apps.

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Birth of “Third-Party Chats”

As part of its commitment to DMA compliance, WhatsApp is working on the “third-party chats” feature. This feature is expected to introduce a new section within the app, aggregating messages from various messaging platforms. Users will have the ability to receive and respond to messages from friends or contacts using different messaging apps, fostering a more inclusive and diverse communication environment.

Beta Update for iOS Users

The latest beta update for WhatsApp on iOS, accessible through the TestFlight app, provides a sneak peek into the development of the “third-party chats” feature. While still in the testing phase, this update signals WhatsApp’s dedication to bringing innovative features to its users. The iOS community can expect a more interconnected messaging experience once the feature officially rolls out.

Unlocking a World of Possibilities

At the core of the DMA and WhatsApp’s efforts lies the concept of interoperability. This term refers to users’ ability to communicate seamlessly across different messaging platforms while using WhatsApp. This groundbreaking shift aims to break down communication barriers, offering users a more diverse and enriched experience by connecting with friends and contacts regardless of the messaging app they use.

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While the introduction of interoperability brings exciting possibilities, WhatsApp acknowledges the importance of user control and privacy. According to WABetaInfo, users will be required to manually enable the interoperability service. Furthermore, users retain the option to opt out, as outlined in Article 7 of the DMA. Preserving end-to-end encryption ensures that cross-platform communication remains secure, addressing concerns about data privacy and security in an interconnected messaging landscape.