If this upcoming feature is finally rolled out, it will be one of the most important features WhatsApp has ever rolled out.
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According to the latest report from WabetaInfo, the company is currently working on a feature that will allow chat app users to send messages to others like Twitter, Viber, Signal, etc. directly from WhatsApp.
This feature will presumably allow WhatsApp users to chat with users of other messaging apps, like Signal, Telegram, and Viber directly from whatsApp messenger.
However, because it’s not yet live – there’s no ability to start conversations with users on other apps – the exact technical details of how it works and which third-party apps are unclear, and currently unknown.
The screenshot below shows a blank “Third Party Chat” section on the latest WhatsApp Android beta version.
WhatsApp third party
The feature will reportedly be integrated into WhatsApp so that the parent company Meta Platforms can comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Due to its large user base in the region, the European Commission recently declared WhatsApp to be considered a “gatekeeper” service under the DMA.
This means they will have to make their software interoperable with third-party messaging apps by March 2024.
The purpose of the DMA is to prevent gatekeepers like WhatsApp from imposing “unfair” conditions and ensure the opening up of vital digital services.
It requires similar measures from companies like Apple and Microsoft, which dominate other tech sectors. With WhatsApp supporting chat with third-party apps, it will be easier for users to choose alternatives while still being able to message friends, family, and co-workers who choose to continue using them.
Interoperability will allow others to contact users on WhatsApp even if they do not have a WhatsApp account. For example, someone on the Signal app can send a message to a WhatsApp user, even without a WhatsApp account. This feature is still under development and will be available in the next update.
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