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Thursday, February 29, 2024

What is interoperability and how does it affect you?

WhatsApp, the most used instant messaging application in Spain, is about to face its biggest change to date. We don’t talk about the features that are about to be added to the platform Goalsuch as the ability to set scheduled events automatically or the Passkey activationbut of the WhatsApp interoperability with other messaging apps.

That is, starting in March, users will be able read and send messages to other platforms without leaving the application. But why does this change occur? Basically, next month, the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) comes into force in the European Union, legislation that requires ‘gatekeepers’ (Big Tech with more than 45 million users on the European continent) to adopt a series of measures to improve the services of their apps – one of them is interoperability.

Therefore, it will be the first time that WhatsApp allows users to communicate with people from other platforms, like Telegram or Signal, without them having an account in the Meta application. Furthermore, this novelty will continue maintaining end-to-end encryption.

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How will WhatsApp interoperability work?

This novelty hopes to promote communication with others appstaking into account that the applications must encrypt content using the Signal protocol and then, share it in XML files.

Likewise, the main objective of this change is to offer interoperability with third parties and “at the same time preserve privacy, security and integrity,” WhatsApp engineering director Dick Brouwer explains to the newspaper Wired. However, in principle, said interoperability will initially focus on the text, voice, images, videos and files messaging; although group calls and chats will arrive later.

Will interoperability in WhatsApp be mandatory?

On the other hand, it is important to mention that interoperability be optional –users will be able to choose whether they want to use it or not–, although if they want to try it, they will see messages from other applications at the top of the inbox called ‘third-party chats’.

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