WhatsApp Users To Be Able To Chat With Signal, Telegram, Other Messaging Apps


WHATSAPP is gearing up to launch cross-messaging between other platforms – meaning users might soon be able to use WhatsApp to send messages to people using Signal, Telegram, or others.

The change is coming because of EU rules that gave Meta a March deadline to open up its messaging platform – it’s also why Apple is opening up the iPhone to App Store alternatives in Europe. But exactly how this interconnected system of messaging apps might look has been a bit of mystery, with only WhatsApp beta leaks teasing possible ways cross-app chats could work. 

In an interview with Wired, Dick Brouwer (a WhatsApp engineering director), he revealed some details of how WhatsApp users may be able to chat with other encrypted messaging apps. 

In general, the system works as we expected – you’ll be able to chat with people using other messaging services, but there will be some hoops you and software developers need to jump through. The first is that you’ll have to opt in to cross-app messaging, as it won’t be switched on by default,” he explained. 

The next bump in the road is that WhatsApp chats and third-party app chats won’t be able to mingle in one inbox, instead if you opt-in to cross-app messaging your third-party conversations will be put into a separate “third-party chats” inbox – meaning there are some extra taps required to open them. 

Brouwer explained that the decision to keep the inboxes separate is because WhatsApp can’t guarantee these other services “offer the same level of privacy and security” as its own WhatsApp platform. So by keeping them separate, it’s creating an obvious barrier between the chats it can confirm hold up to its security standards and those it can’t. 

Another issue is that for a third-party service to be interoperable with Meta’s WhatsApp and Messenger apps, the company behind it will need to sign an agreement with Meta to follow certain terms. Exactly what this agreement looks like isn’t yet known, but some messaging services may not want to be beholden to Meta even if the terms are themselves agreeable. 


Eighteen-Eleven Media


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