The WhatsApp beta update for Android (version 126.96.36.199) released today includes a new page called “Third Party Chats” that is currently not functioning properly and cannot be accessed by users.
The EU recently reached an agreement on a major competition reform called the Digital Markets Act (DMA), designating six companies as “gatekeepers” for the first time, including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft and the 22 core platform services they provide, these companies must provide users with the ability to communicate with each other using different apps.
WhatsApp is one of the companies that will need to comply with new regulations under the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, and it is developing a new feature specifically to address the new regulations. WhatsApp has six months to adapt to new European regulations in order to provide its interoperability services in the EU. At the moment, it’s unclear whether this feature will eventually be extended to countries outside the EU as well.
The interoperability will allow others to contact users through WhatsApp even if they do not have a WhatsApp account.
In addition to stipulating that messaging apps must interoperate, the DMA also requires gatekeepers to allow users to remove pre-installed apps or purchase alternative app stores.