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WhatsApp’s ‘third-party chat’ interface leaked ahead of DMA deadline

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WhatsAppend-to-end encryption (E2EE), messaging platform, is expected to add support for third-party messages soon. Now, a leaked image has surfaced that provides a glimpse of what the new interface will look like. The image suggests that the feature might only debut in Europe for now. Notably, the Meta-owned platform is to add support for cross-platform messaging in accordance with the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act (AMD), which comes into force on March 6. WhatsApp is expected to go live with the feature before the deadline.

The leaked screenshot was shared via a WABetaInfo report, which revealed that in the upcoming version 2.24.5.18 of WhatsApp, a chat interoperability feature will be added. Also known as third-party chats, it will allow users to send messages to a user on Signal, Telegram or other messaging apps directly from WhatsApp, without the need to install said app. This feature would allow smoother and more accessible communication between users by lifting platform restrictions.

WhatsApp third-party chat WhatsApp

Leaked screenshot of WhatsApp’s third-party chat interface
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

In the leaked image, a header titled Third-party chats may be seen. The screen appears to be a registration screen, the bottom of which contains a button to To light up functionality. The middle of the page contains several warnings. The first warning says: “You are messaging someone outside of WhatsApp. Third-party apps may use different end-to-end encryption. Another warning pointed out that instances of spam and scams might be more common with third-party chats. The final warning read: “Third-party apps have their own policies. They may manage your data differently than WhatsApp. The last line explained that the feature was offered to users in the European region, as required by law.

WhatsApp Director of Engineering Dick Brouwer earlier confirmed the feature, saying the company was working on it, according to a report. He also explained that these chats will be shown separately because they are not protected by the messaging app’s E2EE protocol. It was also said that WhatsApp had started documenting its client-server protocol to allow other chat services to connect their clients directly to WhatsApp’s servers and send messages to users across platforms.

If third-party platforms do not wish to follow the procedure, they will need to verify that their encryption protocol matches WhatsApp’s security standard. The report highlights that several popular platforms have not confirmed whether they work with the MetaCompany-owned platform to add or not support for chat interoperability.


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