Technology

WhatsApp Leaks Plans for Third-Party Chat Integration in Europe

A leaked image suggests that WhatsApp, the end-to-end encryption messaging platform, is gearing up to introduce support for third-party messages in compliance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), set to take effect on March 6. The leaked image, shared by WABetaInfo, showcases the potential interface for this upcoming feature, which appears to be an opt-in screen labeled “Third-party chats.”

The leaked image indicates that WhatsApp users in Europe will have the option to send messages to users on platforms like Signal or Telegram directly from WhatsApp without installing the respective apps. The introduction of this chat interoperability feature aims to facilitate more seamless communication between users, eliminating platform-related restrictions.

In the leaked image, the Third-party chats interface includes warnings to users. The warnings mention potential differences in end-to-end encryption protocols, the increased risk of spam and scams with third-party chats, and variations in data handling policies between WhatsApp and other messaging apps. The leak suggests that the feature will be offered to users in the European region as mandated by law.

WhatsApp Engineering Director Dick Brouwer had previously confirmed the development of this feature, emphasizing that these third-party chats would be displayed separately as they wouldn’t be protected by WhatsApp’s E2EE protocol. Brouwer also mentioned that WhatsApp is documenting its client-server protocol to enable other chat services to connect directly to WhatsApp’s servers and communicate with users across different platforms.

While WhatsApp is making strides toward enabling cross-platform messaging, the report highlights that some popular platforms have not confirmed whether they are working with WhatsApp to support chat interoperability. The leaked image and ongoing developments suggest that WhatsApp is preparing to roll out this feature before the DMA deadline, offering users a new dimension of communication across various messaging platforms.

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