WhatsApp Leaks ‘Third-Party Chat’ Interface Ahead of EU’s Digital Markets Act Deadline

WhatsApp is on the verge of rolling out a significant update that introduces a ‘Third-Party Chat’ feature, allowing users to communicate with those on different messaging platforms directly from WhatsApp. A leaked screenshot, shared by WABetaInfo, indicates that the feature will be part of the upcoming build version It’s noteworthy that this development aligns with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), requiring WhatsApp to support cross-platform messaging, scheduled to come into effect on March 6.

The leaked image offers a glimpse into the opt-in screen for the Third-Party Chat feature. The header prominently labels it as “Third-party chats,” with a button at the bottom allowing users to turn on the feature. The middle section of the screen features important warnings. It cautions users that messaging someone outside of WhatsApp means dealing with different end-to-end encryption protocols. Another warning addresses the potential increase in spam and scams with third-party chats. The final warning emphasizes that third-party apps may handle data differently than WhatsApp and that the feature is being offered to European users as mandated by law.

WhatsApp Engineering Director Dick Brouwer has already confirmed the development of the Third-Party Chat feature. In a report, he stated that the company is actively working on it. However, these chats will be displayed separately as they won’t be protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption protocol. Brouwer further explained that WhatsApp is documenting its client-server protocol, allowing other chat services to connect their clients directly to WhatsApp’s servers and communicate across platforms.

While the leaked image sheds light on the user interface and warnings associated with the feature, it remains to be seen how users will respond to this new capability. As the DMA deadline looms, WhatsApp is anticipated to make this feature live in the coming days, providing users with enhanced cross-platform communication options while ensuring compliance with EU regulations.

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