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11 Sep, 2023
1 min time to read

WhatsApp is reportedly working on a feature called "Third-party chats," found in the latest beta version, which could enable it to interact with other messaging apps.

While the shared screen is currently blank, it hints at WhatsApp preparing for compliance with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA regulations apply to seven tech giants, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok owner ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft and Samsung, and aim to prevent these "gatekeepers" from favoring their own services.

Meta, WhatsApp's parent company, will need to make WhatsApp compatible with other messaging apps like Signal and Telegram by March 2024. End-to-end encryption is expected to be preserved during cross-messaging.

It will allow users of other messaging apps to contact WhatsApp users, even if they don't have a WhatsApp account. But the exact features of cross-messaging remain undisclosed.

Apple's iMessage is not currently included among the key services subject to DMA regulations, but the DMA could impact the App Store. Apple is reportedly considering allowing third-party app stores and sideloading in iOS 17, which may affect the App Store ecosystem. Microsoft and Epic Games are also preparing their own stores for iOS mobile apps, potentially leading to significant changes in the app distribution landscape.