WhatsApp will allow chatting with users of other messaging services from March. In the new part of WhatsApp, you can receive messages from people who use another chat app.
Like other major online platforms, WhatsApp will soon have to make changes to comply with the EU's strict Digital Markets Act (DMA) rules. The most radical change for WhatsApp is that the app should support communication with users of other messaging services. This interoperability will soon allow you to receive messages in WhatsApp from users of, for example, Telegram, Signal or Discord, and vice versa.
Recently, a new “Third Party Chats” section appeared in a beta version of the WhatsApp application. This was a tangible indication that the chat service was preparing to interoperate with external applications. Interoperability covers text messages, images, voice messages, videos, and files. How it will work in practice and which applications will participate depends on the participating companies. As the largest chat app in Europe, WhatsApp is obligated to do this.
The main concern is the security of messages. WhatsApp should keep it encrypted if it integrates other chat services. “There is a tension between an easy way to provide interoperability to third parties, while at the same time maintaining our standards for privacy, security and integrity,” said Dick Brewer, WhatsApp's chief technical officer. To wired.
WhatsApp prefers that the chat apps it connects to use the same Signal encryption protocol to encrypt messages. Meta systems also depend on this. To send messages, third-party applications must encode the content using the Signal Protocol and package it into XML message lines. When receiving messages, apps must connect to WhatsApp servers.
Meta is also open to apps that use other encryption protocols, as long as they can prove “that they meet the security standards that WhatsApp specifies in its guidelines.” The question remains whether Apple must also adhere to the same DMA rules with iMessage.
You have to run it yourself
As a WhatsApp user, you must first enable this new feature yourself. Then you can receive messages from other apps in a new section in your inbox.
“The idea is to put it in a separate mailbox, because these networks are different,” Brewer said. “We cannot provide the same level of privacy and security.” If WhatsApp were to add SMS, a separate mailbox would also be created for this purpose, Breuer says, though he says there are no plans yet to support SMS.
WhatsApp has until March to start making changes. That month, Meta wants to announce more details about the agreement other messaging services could enter into with the company if they want to connect to WhatsApp. Meta will then need “a few months” to implement the change for all users.
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