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Here’s your first look at WhatsApp’s upcoming integration for rival apps


WhatsApp is working on interoperability with third-party chat apps for compliance with the Digital Markets Act in the EU.
A new video reveals users will have to manually opt-in for third-party chat support under
Account settings
Third-party chats will be kept separate from WhatsApp chats, with limited support for features.

WhatsApp is arguably one of the most popular encrypted instant messaging apps on Android, often locking horns with other popular services like Telegram and Signal. However, such popularity attracted regulator attention in the EU, where the European Commission deemed the app a gatekeeper as defined in the Digital Markets Act. To safeguard its plans for continued operations in the market, Meta is giving WhatsApp interoperability with other apps and we now have our first look at the implementation ahead of its official release.


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Support for integrating with third-party chat apps has been in the works since September 2023, or maybe even before that, but development has been slow, and mostly behind closed doors. As the name suggests, interoperability will allow WhatsApp to receive messages sent from other chat apps like Telegram, and WhatsApp users will be allowed to reply and interact with the sender without exiting the app.

We last spotted Meta discussing this in February, when WhatsApp made it clear the feature will remain exclusive to the “European Region,” but it also disclosed the technical specifications, so other apps can join without breaking encryption standards. Although a few related screenshots surfaced earlier, reputable app sleuth AssembleDebug recently shared a video which clarifies several details (via SmartDroid).

Interoperability is just around the corner

From the video, it is evident that the option for third-party chat support will be an opt-in, meaning users will have to enable it manually. The toggle should be available under Settings → Account → Third-party chats. Here, WhatsApp displays a prominent notification warning users that scams and spam may be more prevalent in third-party chats, and they may handle user data differently.

In a subsequent onboarding screen, the app explains that people using other apps could look you up using your phone number, and this may include people you’ve blocked on WhatsApp. However, Meta doesn’t share your name and profile picture with them. Understandably, advanced app features like disappearing messages, stickers, and emoji reactions to messages aren’t supported.

On the final screen, you get to choose the supported third-party apps where your phone number will be searchable. The list is empty in the video because the feature hasn’t rolled out yet, but you can revisit these settings under Settings → Account → Third-party chats → Selected apps. Once enabled, an option called Third-party chats should show up at the top of the Chats tab. Evidently, Meta plans to keep WhatsApp chats separate from third-party chats, quite like locked conversations.

That said, the UI for this feature seems ready for prime time, and should be due for release very soon. We sincerely hope regulatory pressure forces WhatsApp to make this a standard feature in all markets, but that’s just wishful thinking for now.

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