Meta-owned WhatsApp may soon start supporting messaging on other apps and the upcoming feature has been spotted in testing. The feature will comply with the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA) under which the platform has to offer interoperability in the region. Under interoperability, the meta-owned platform will have to allow cross-platform messaging to other users, even if they do not have the app.
According to the latest WhatsApp beta for Android 184.108.40.206 update, the feature being tested is called “Third-party chats”. With this update, Meta-owned WhatsApp will enable cross-platform messaging for other apps.
“The European Union has recently reached an agreement on a significant competition reform known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which will impose strict rules on large tech companies that will have to offer users the ability to communicate with each other using different apps. WhatsApp is one of the companies that will be required to comply with the new regulations outlined in the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. This is because WhatsApp is considered a gatekeeper service since it’s a large tech platform with a substantial user base and falls within the criteria set by the DMA,” WABetaInfo wrote on its page.
The feature has been spotted in WhatsApp beta for Android 220.127.116.11 update, which is currently available on the Google Play Store. The WhatsApp beta tracking website also shared a screenshot of a page with “Third-party chats” on top. But the page had no further details or description.
“As you can see in this screenshot, WhatsApp is working on a new section dedicated to the new regulations. Since it is still in development, this section is still not ready, it appears empty and it’s not accessible to users, but its title confirms to us that they are now working on it. WhatsApp has a 6-month period to align the app with the new European regulations to provide its interoperability service in the European Union,” WABetaInfo added.
Currently, it remains unclear whether this feature will be extended to countries beyond the European Union.