The beta update for WhatsApp for Android (version 126.96.36.199) released today has a new screen called Third-Party Conversations and Reports WABetaInfo. Currently, the screen is not functional and is not accessible to users, according to engadget WABetaInfo. But its title is strong evidence that this is likely the first step in opening up Meta’s encrypted messaging app for cross-platform compatibility.
The beta comes just days after the European Commission confirmed that WhatsApp owner Meta meets the definition of a “gatekeeper” under the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires communication software like WhatsApp to interact with third-party messaging apps by March 2024. WABetaInfo Tweet the screenshot From the screen:
DMA target, in accordance with the European Commission target Questions and answers about the lawThe goal is to prevent gatekeepers from “imposing unfair terms” and “ensure the openness of important digital services.” In addition to mandating that messaging apps must be interoperable, the DMA requires that gatekeepers, among other things, allow users to remove pre-installed apps or shop in alternative app stores.
Both Meta and Microsoft plan to create their own mobile app stores in response to the DMA. The European Commission is investigating whether Apple’s iMessage app, Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Edge browser and advertising service meet the criteria for the new regulation.
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