WhatsApp is testing cross-platform messaging

In the latest WhatsApp for Android beta update (version, a new screen has been introduced, known as “Third-party chats,” as reported by WABetaInfo. Currently, this screen is not functional and not accessible to users. However, the screen’s name strongly suggests that it may represent the initial phase of Meta’s encrypted messaging app becoming compatible with cross-platform messaging.

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This beta update comes shortly after the European Commission confirmed that Meta, the owner of WhatsApp, qualifies as a “gatekeeper” under the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA mandates that communication software like WhatsApp must be able to interoperate with third-party messaging apps by March 2024.

The DMA’s primary objective, as outlined in the European Commission’s FAQ regarding the legislation, is to prevent gatekeepers from imposing unfair conditions and to ensure the openness of critical digital services. In addition to requiring messaging apps to interoperate, the DMA also stipulates that gatekeepers must allow users to uninstall pre-installed apps and access alternative app stores.

Both Meta and Microsoft are preparing to launch their own mobile app stores in response to the DMA. The European Commission is conducting an investigation to determine whether Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Edge browser, and advertising service meet the criteria for this new regulation.