WHATSAPP is planning a major change that will affect billions of users next year.
Owners Meta are forced to make huge changes due to a strict new EU law.
WhatsApp and 21 other major tech brands were officially designated “gatekeepers” by the European Commission last week, meaning they must comply with the new Digital Markets Act (DMA).
The rules require WhatsApp to work with third-party messaging apps by March 2024.
This allows friends and family who use competing messaging apps instead of WhatsApp to send text messages to your WhatsApp account.
Leaked screenshots have shown that meta developers are already working on making something like this possible.
Images published by WABetaInfo Show a brand new option for “Third Party Chats”.
The DMA aims to prevent dominant tech giants from “enforcing unfair conditions” and “ensuring the openness of key digital services.”
It is not clear whether the new feature will be limited to EU countries or available worldwide, as the European Commission is only responsible for the 27 EU member states.
The law divides companies that must comply with the regulations into eight groups.
Along with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp belongs to the messaging category – officially called N-IICS.
The social networks are TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, while YouTube stands alone when it comes to video sharing.
Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, Amazon Marketplace, Apple’s App Store and Meta Marketplace are deemed to be intermediaries.
Google, Amazon and Meta also fall into the group of advertising services, while Chrome and Safari belong to the web browsers.
Not surprisingly, Google Search stands alone in search, with Android, iOS, and Windows making up the operating system category.
Companies have expressed concerns about how the law will impact their services and platforms.
Meta said it was considering naming the commission.
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