In anticipation of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), WhatsApp, a messaging platform owned by Meta, is reportedly preparing to introduce third-party messaging app integration. This move complies with the EU directive. In addition, it requires dominant platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger to open their services to other chat applications by March.
About the New Integration by WhatsApp
Dick Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp, discussed the company’s readiness to enable interoperability for third-party applications. However, this will maintain high privacy, security, and integrity standards. Brouwer expressed satisfaction with the current strategy, “I believe we are quite pleased with the position we’ve reached.”
Meta is also actively working on integrating support for additional chat apps into Messenger. Initially, the focus will be on one-on-one chats. As a result, it will allow users to exchange text, audio, video, images, and files across different apps. This feature will be accessible through a new sub-menu labeled “Third-party chats.”
Implementation of End-to-End Encryption
Brouwer played a crucial role in implementing end-to-end encryption for Messenger last year. In addition, he emphasized that the integration will be opt-in to address potential issues with spam and scams. Users will have the choice to participate in exchanging messages with third parties. Thus, it will alleviate concerns regarding unwanted communication.
Companies seeking interoperability with Meta’s platform must enter into agreements. However, the company has not disclosed specific details. Apple’s recent modifications to the App Store have influenced WhatsApp to enforce end-to-end encryption for the integration, with the terms potentially influenced.
During a discussion, Matthew Hodgson, the founder of the open-source messaging protocol Matrix, revealed that Matrix has collaborated with WhatsApp on an “experimental” basis to maintain end-to-end encryption. However, it remains uncertain if other messaging platforms, such as Telegram, Viber, and Google, are planning similar interoperability with WhatsApp.
Brouwer cautioned that achieving feature parity between third-party chats and WhatsApp’s native chats might pose challenges. This is due to the fact that interoperability introduces potential new privacy and security concerns. As the enforcement of the EU DMA approaches, WhatsApp aims to strike a delicate balance between openness and safeguarding the user experience.