Like other tech giants, WhatsApp must undergo significant changes to align with the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA) as anticipated to partner with the messaging app using third-party platforms.
According to reports, the Meta-owned platform’s Engineering Director, Dick Brouwer, suggested considering collaborating with other messaging platforms.
The move towards interoperability will initially encompass text messages, images, voice messages, videos, and files exchanged between individuals. Hypothetically, users could converse on WhatsApp using third-party apps such as iMessage, Telegram, Google Messages, Signal, and vice versa.
However, the success hinges on the participation of other companies, with ongoing concerns about how WhatsApp will ensure message security and encryption while integrating other services.
Reports show that the Meta-owned app aims to have messaging services utilize the Signal Protocol for message encryption.
Also, Meta is willing to consider apps employing different encryption protocols, provided they demonstrate compliance with the security standards outlined in WhatsApp’s guidelines.
Moreover, before integrating with the messaging app, third-party services must enter a contract with the tech giant, and additional details about the agreement will be disclosed in March.
WhatsApp improves because Meta is classified as a “digital gatekeeper” under the DMA, requiring adherence to rules fostering competition among digital services.
Despite the DMA taking effect last year, the bloc grants gatekeepers like Meta until March 2024 for compliance. It remains to be seen if the changes will be EU-specific or global.
Brouwer Reveals WhatsApp Interoperability Progress
Meta’s Brouwer affirms ongoing work on interoperability features, determining support levels for companies seeking integration as the progress continues.
Brouwer acknowledges uncertainty, mentioning that nobody quite understands how this functions. Also, they have no idea about what the demand is. However, the director asserts that the choice was to leverage WhatsApp’s current architecture for the partnership, facilitating scalable expansion for future group chats.
Moreover, he noted that it possibly lessens users’ data exposed to multiple servers.
Over time, interoperability will undergo development, and according to Meta’s viewpoint, Brouwer suggests that rapidly adding new features to it will pose more significant challenges.
He asserts they think interop and messaging app chats can only progress partially. Also, evolving an open network is more challenging than a closed one, Brouwer noted.