WhatsApp is said to be introducing a new feature that goes against its original intentions. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) has been advocating for interoperability and cross-platform interaction to prevent monopolistic practices. Recently, the EU classified Meta’s messaging platform as a ‘gatekeeper’ and mandated compliance with new guidelines. Subsequently, WhatsApp has reportedly started developing a feature called ‘third-party chats’, allowing users to directly message individuals on other messaging apps.
WhatsApp is testing cross-platform communication
Ship-to-ship interaction is becoming a hot topic for governments and non-profit organizations as large tech companies with multiple applications focus on creating an ecosystem experience and locking their users into that ecosystem. This makes it difficult for the user to interact with those outside the ecosystem and download separate apps for each platform. The EU defines such a condition as anti-competitive and has emphasized companies not to participate in such activities.
The new feature allows WhatsApp users to send text messages to a user who exclusively uses Telegram, Signal or any other platform. This means that users don’t have to be limited to a single platform’s user base, and they don’t have to be forced to download multiple chat apps.
Google Chat is one of the platforms that also tests cross-platform communication features. But unlike WhatsApp, its interoperability is limited to other messaging platforms for businesses, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, given its use case.