Source: 9to5Mac

WhatsApp has once again captured the tech world’s attention with its recent Android beta update, version While routine updates are common in the world of apps, this one introduces a new feature called “Third-party chats.” A closer look at this seemingly ordinary addition, however, reveals that WhatsApp may be on the cusp of enabling encrypted messaging across diverse platforms.

The Clues Within the Beta Update

WABetaInfo, a reputable source for WhatsApp-related news and updates, is the bearer of this exciting revelation. The mere presence of a “Third-party chats” section within the update’s code hints at Meta’s, WhatsApp’s parent company, exploration of cross-platform encrypted messaging—a development that could reshape the way we communicate digitally.

WhatsApp broadens in-app business directory and search features | TechCrunch
Source: tech Crunch

Regulatory Winds of Change

The timing of this beta release is particularly noteworthy. It comes at a pivotal moment for Meta, as the European Commission recently acknowledged the company as a “gatekeeper” under the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). This designation comes with specific obligations, one of which is to facilitate interoperability with third-party messaging apps. Meta is expected to achieve this by March 2024.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) has a clear mandate: prevent gatekeepers like Meta from imposing unfair conditions and ensure the openness of vital digital services. As a consequence, Meta will need to empower its users to uninstall pre-installed apps and explore alternative app stores—a significant departure from the norm.

WhatsApp unveils 'Third-party Chats' to let users send messages to other messaging apps - Akahi News
Source: Akahil News

Strategic Response

In response to the DMA’s requirements, both Meta and tech behemoth Microsoft are gearing up to launch their mobile app stores. This strategic move underscores their commitment to comply with the European Commission’s regulations while maintaining their competitive edge in the dynamic world of digital services.

With its colossal user base, WhatsApp is poised to play a pivotal role in Meta’s ambitions for cross-platform messaging. While the specifics of this feature remain shrouded in mystery, it’s clear that WhatsApp users can anticipate a future of more seamless and secure communication experiences that transcend the confines of different platforms. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, WhatsApp’s dedication to innovation promises exciting developments for its global user community. Keep an eye out for updates as this thrilling journey unfolds.

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