WhatsApp is gearing up to introduce interoperability with other messaging networks on its platform, just a month ahead of the deadline set by the Digital Markets Act.
In an interview with Wired, Dick Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp, stated that the company is prepared to enable interoperability for its platform, which boasts over 2 billion users.
The European Union had agreed to include messaging interoperability as part of the DMA in 2022. This regulation requires gatekeepers like WhatsApp and Messenger to open their services to other chat applications. Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, is also working on adding support for other chat apps to Messenger.
Initially, these interoperable experiences will focus on one-on-one chats, allowing users to send text, audio, video, images, and files across different apps. As previously reported by WABetaInfo, this feature will be housed in a new sub-menu atop the inbox, labeled “Third-party chats.”
Brouwer, who played a role in implementing end-to-end encryption for Messenger last year, emphasized that this will be an opt-in experience to prevent spam and scams.
Companies desiring interoperability with Meta’s system will need to sign an agreement, the details of which are not yet public. WhatsApp will mandate end-to-end encryption for enabling interoperability.
It remains unclear whether other operators such as Telegram, Viber, and Google are planning to add interoperability support with WhatsApp.