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Business News/ Technology / News/  WhatsApp may soon allow you to send messages to third-party apps like Telegram and Signal. All we know so far
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WhatsApp may soon allow you to send messages to third-party apps like Telegram and Signal. All we know so far

WhatsApp is developing a chat interoperability feature in response to Europe's Digital Markets Acts, allowing users to send messages to third-party apps like Signal or Telegram. Users will have to manually opt in to use the feature, with precautions about encryption and spam.

A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Dado RuvicPremium
A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

WhatsApp could soon allow you to send messages to third-party apps such as Signal or Telegram with its new chat interoperability feature. The new feature is being developed in response to Europe's Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations, which give large companies or 'gatekeepers' six months to facilitate communication between different messaging apps.

WhatsApp's new Third Party chats feature:

According to a report from WABetainfo, WhatsApp is working on a new section for third-party chats, which is currently available in WhatsApp beta version 2.24.5.18. WhatsApp build version 2.24.5.18. The leaked screenshot from WABetainfo shows that the chat interoperability feature will be an opt-in feature, meaning that users will have to manually enable the feature to use it.

However, even before the feature is turned on, WhatsApp will reportedly add 3 precautions. The first precaution reads: “You're messaging someone outside of WhatsApp. Third-party apps may use different end-to-end encryption." 

The second precaution reads, "Spam and Scams may be more common in third-party chats". Meanwhile, the third precaution reads, “Third-party apps have their own policies. They may handle your data differently than WhatsApp does."

The new chat interoperability feature will allow users to send messages to users who are not on the personal messaging app and are using another service, such as Telegram or Signal. However, the WaBetaInfo report notes that these chats will be listed under the chats tab in a separate inbox.

Dick Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp, had also recently confirmed to Wired magazine that the chat interoperability feature would soon be coming to WhatsApp in response to the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations. However, the report had noted that the interoperable chats will only focus on text messages, pictures, voice messages and videos in the initial phase and features such as calls and group chats may take years to trickle down to interoperable chats.

Explaining the approach behind interoperable chats taken by Meta, Brouwer had said, “We think that the best way to deliver this approach is through a solution that is built on WhatsApp’s existing client-server architecture…This effectively means that the approach that we’re trying to take is for WhatsApp to document our client- server protocol and letting third-party clients connect directly to our infrastructure and exchange messages with WhatsApp clients."

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Published: 04 Mar 2024, 09:23 AM IST
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