European Union regulations for 2024 are driving major changes for some of the world’s largest and most influential technology companies, including Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta e Microsoft. Among the requests, the new rules require companies to enable interoperability with third-party messaging platformsi, paving the way for the cross-platform messaging: also for the very widespread WhatsApp.
WhatsApp opens up to cross-platform messaging
Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has taken the first step towards implementing cross-platform messaging. In fact, the most recent beta version (analyzed by WABetaInfo) features a new screen called “Third Party Chat”.
Although in the beta version of WhatsApp for Android (v126.96.36.199) it is not yet possible to interact with this screen, this novelty represents a very clear signal: Meta is working to adapt to new EU regulations on digital markets. The goal is to make messaging possible between different platforms by March 2024.
This decision by Meta is a direct response to Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Union, which introduced rules aimed at keeping big tech companies in check, such as Meta, Apple and Microsoft. The DMA aims to ensure the openness of critical digital services and has mandated digital “gatekeepers” to allow cross-platform messaging between their apps.
Cross-platform messaging represents a significant step in improving WhatsApp user experience and complying with European regulations. Perhaps many users will not use it directly, at least at first. But it opens the door to more flexible messaging app implementations. Although it remains to be evaluated how this new feature will work: we will have to wait for further updates.