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WhatsApp gears up to roll out 3rd-party chat support

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Shillong, February 7: Meta-owned WhatsApp is reportedly preparing to allow third-party messaging apps on its platform, ahead of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) that will come into force in March.

Dick Brouwer, an engineering director at WhatsApp, told Wired that the company is ready to offer interoperability on the platform with over 2 billion users.

“There’s real tension between offering an easy way to offer this interoperability to third parties while at the same time preserving the WhatsApp privacy, security, and integrity bar. I think we’re pretty happy with where we’ve landed,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

It’s not clear if other operators like Telegram are planning to add interoprability support with WhatsApp.

Meta is also working to add support for other chat apps to Messenger.

According to the report, interoperability in both WhatsApp and Messenger will focus on text messaging, sending images, voice messages, videos, and files. Calls and group chats will come later.

“One of the core requirements here, and this is really important, is for users for this to be opt-in. I can choose whether or not I want to participate in being open to exchanging messages with third parties. This is important, because it could be a big source of spam and scams,” said Brouwer.

WhatsApp users who opt in will see messages from other apps in a separate section at the top of their inbox.

“Despite WhatsApp working on its interoperability plan for more than a year, it will still take some time for third-party chats to hit people’s apps,” the report mentioned.

The non-compliance with EU DMA will result in fines of up to 10 per cent of the company’s total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20 per cent in the event of repeated infringements. (IANS)

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