WhatsApp’s Third-Party Chats Feature Will Let Users Choose Which Apps to Connect With: Report

WhatsApp is gearing up to add support for third-party messages. A report has revealed more details on how the new feature will work and the amount of control users will have while giving access to other messaging apps. It appears that the Meta-owned platform will not only let users choose whether to turn on the feature or not, but it will also let them decide which apps to connect with. Notably, WhatsApp has to take this feature live before March 6, which is the date the European Union’s (EU) new Digital Markets Act (DMA) comes into effect.

According to a report by WABetaInfo, which shared a screenshot of the new feature from the developer build version, the new feature, called third-party chats is an interoperability feature for the regions within the EU. The EU has mandated that users should have a way to speak with other users on different messaging apps, without having to download multiple apps. Once live, WhatsApp users should be able to text users on Telegram, Signal, and other similar platforms.

Leaked screenshot of WhatsApp’s Third-party chats
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo


In the screenshot, a new interface page can be seen under the label of Third-party chats. A new icon for the functionality can also be seen which is essentially a message icon with three circles placed in triangular shape. One of the circles is in a dark green colour, likely indicating a third-party app. Setting options to Turn off third-party chats could also be seen. Another option reads Selected apps that is expected to give users control over which apps to connect with.

The granular controls are in sync with the DMA guidelines that require users to have control over data sharing and communication preferences. This way users can decide whether they want to use this feature or not, for how long they want to use it, and with which apps they want to connect. At this moment, the release date of the feature is not known. It is not expected to be rolled out outside of Europe.

An earlier report highlighted another interface page of the feature. What appeared to be the starting screen for the feature, WhatsApp added multiple warnings for users to understand before turning on third-party chats. While one of the warnings highlighted the lack of end-to-end encryption for messages, another warned against increased spam and scams.

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