WhatsApp is looking set to introduce a feature where users of third-party apps can message users on WhatsApp without needing to switch apps. That has been in the works for a long time, but may finally be coming to fruition.
When it comes to instant messaging apps, WhatsApp is unquestionably the king. It has been around for years, offering a simple, secure spot to message your friends and family.
Still, that doesn't mean it can't evolve. Last year saw the app move from strength to strength, adding new features and functions pretty much every week.
Now, the biggest adaptation in its history could be coming soon. We've talked before about how the brand may have to open up the ability to message third party apps. That comes from EU regulations found within the Digital Markets Act, which list WhatsApp's parent company – Meta – as one of six gatekeepers.
Those brands were given six months to make a stack of changes – including this ability to interact with other messaging platforms. Well, that period of time is nearly up, and it seems like WhatsApp are preparing to play ball.
Speaking to Wired, Dick Brouwer – an engineering director at WhatsApp – said, "There’s real tension between offering an easy way to offer this interoperability to third parties whilst at the same time preserving the WhatsApp privacy, security, and integrity bar."
He went on to detail the layout of the new service within the app. Users will have the option to opt-in to the feature, before any changes take place. Brouwer says that is crucial, as third party services may open the door to additional spam and scam messages.
Once someone has opted in, a separate inbox will appear within the app. This third-party chats inbox will segregate regular WhatsApp messages from those arriving externally. The reasoning for that is because WhatsApp will be unable to offer the same level of privacy and security for those messages.
There's still no definitive date for when the feature may take hold. Even if the plans are in place in the next few weeks, it may take longer for the feature to actually be implemented and rolled out to users.
Still, it's an exciting update – and one which could mark a turning point for messaging apps everywhere.