Meta Adds Messaging Interoperability For Whatsapp, Messenger

WhatsApp messaging

Meta turns on interoperability for Messenger and WhatsApp, to comply with EU digital markets act (DMA), but only if Signal protocol is used

Meta Platforms has opened up its messaging platforms to other third platforms, in order to comply with new EU legislation.

Last week Meta revealed that in order to the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), it has made “major changes to WhatsApp and Messenger to enable interoperability with third-party messaging services.”

It comes after Meta in December had revealed it was testing making user posts on Threads available on other social media platforms.

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Image credit: Alok Sharma/Pexels

Messaging interoperability

Meta in its blog post about opening up its messaging apps (WhatsApp and Messenger) confirmed that the European Union’s DMA required interoperability with third-party messaging services.

To this end, WhatsApp and Messenger will be interoperable with third-party messaging services, as required by the new EU law.

“This allows users of third-party providers who choose to enable interoperability (interop) to send and receive messages with opted-in users of either Messenger or WhatsApp – both designated by the European Commission (EC) as being required to independently provide interoperability to third-party messaging services,” stated Meta.

It said that Meta teams had been working with the EC for nearly two years implement interop in a way that meets the requirements of the law and maximises the security, privacy and safety of users.

“To interoperate, third-party providers will sign an agreement with Messenger and/or WhatsApp and we’ll work together to enable interoperability,” Meta stated.

Signal protocol

However there are some restrictions, namely this interoperability with third party messaging apps will only be offered in Europe, and it will be based the Signal Protocol only.

“First, we need to protect the underlying security that keeps communication on Meta E2EE messaging apps secure: the encryption protocol,” Meta States. “WhatsApp and Messenger both use the tried and tested Signal Protocol as a foundational piece for their encryption.”

Messenger is still rolling out E2EE by default for personal communication, but on WhatsApp, this default has been the case since 2016,” it said. “In both cases, we are using the Signal Protocol as the foundation for these E2EE communications, as it represents the current gold standard for E2EE chats.”

“In order to maximize user security, we would prefer third-party providers to use the Signal Protocol,” Meta stated.

“As is hopefully clear from this post, preserving privacy and security in an interoperable system is a shared responsibility, and not something that Meta is able to do on its own,” it concluded. “We will therefore need to continue collaborating with third-party providers in order to provide the safest and best experience for our users.”