WhatsApp gears up for third-party app integration ahead of EU's Digital Markets Act: Report | Mint
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Business News/ Technology / WhatsApp gears up for third-party app integration ahead of EU's Digital Markets Act: Report
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WhatsApp gears up for third-party app integration ahead of EU's Digital Markets Act: Report

WhatsApp is reportedly preparing to introduce third-party messaging app integration on its platform in compliance with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) by March. The parent company Meta is also working on integrating support for additional chat apps into Messenger.

For representation purposes only (AP)Premium
For representation purposes only (AP)

In anticipation of the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), WhatsApp, a Meta-owned messaging platform, is reportedly gearing up to introduce third-party messaging app integration on its platform. The move aims to comply with the EU's directive, which mandates dominant platforms, including WhatsApp and Messenger, to open their services to other chat applications by March.

In a conversation with Wired, Dick Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp, talked about the company's preparedness to enable interoperability for third-party applications while upholding rigorous standards in terms of privacy, security, and integrity. Brouwer conveyed satisfaction with the current strategy, expressing, "I believe we are quite pleased with the position we've reached."

Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, is also actively working on integrating support for additional chat apps into Messenger. The initial focus will be on one-on-one chats, allowing 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," according to earlier reports by WABetaInfo.

Brouwer, who played a key role in implementing end-to-end encryption for Messenger last year, emphasized that the integration will be opt-in to mitigate potential issues with spam and scams. Users will have the choice to participate in exchanging messages with third parties, addressing concerns related to unwanted communication.

Companies seeking interoperability with Meta's platform will be required to enter into agreements, although specific details remain undisclosed. WhatsApp will enforce end-to-end encryption for the integration, with the terms possibly influenced by Apple's recent modifications to the App Store.

During a talk, 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 be challenging, as 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 user experience.

 

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Published: 08 Feb 2024, 05:09 PM IST
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