WhatsApp maybe working on cross-platform messaging

The recent Android beta update for WhatsApp (version introduced a new feature called "Third-party chats," as reported by WABetaInfo. Currently, this screen is not operational or accessible to users, as noted by WABetaInfo. However, its title strongly suggests that this may be the initial step towards enabling Meta's encrypted messaging app to be compatible across different platforms.

This beta release follows closely after the European Commission affirmed that Meta, the owner of WhatsApp, falls under the classification of a "gatekeeper" according to the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). This legislation mandates that communication software like WhatsApp must be capable of interoperating with third-party messaging applications by March 2024. WABetaInfo shared a screenshot of the new screen via a tweet.

The DMA's primary objective, as outlined in the European Commission's FAQ about the law, is to prevent gatekeepers from imposing unfair conditions and to ensure the accessibility of crucial digital services. In addition to requiring messaging apps to interoperate, the DMA compels gatekeepers to allow users to uninstall pre-installed applications or utilize alternative app stores.

Both Meta and Microsoft are in the process of developing their own mobile app stores in response to the DMA. Furthermore, the European Commission is conducting an investigation to determine if Apple's iMessage and Microsoft's Bing search engine, Edge browser, and advertising service meet the criteria set forth by the new regulation.

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