WhatsApp interoperable with other apps in Europe: all the changes

WhatsApp interoperable with other apps in Europe: all the changes

At one time it would have seemed almost heresy. An application for instant messaging which takes advantage of the end-to-end encryption that becomes interoperable with other platforms. Yet that’s what’s happening to WhatsApp and other solutions classified as gatekeeper by the European Commission, based on the indications contained in the DMA (Digital Markets Act).

Aligning with the requirements of the DMA, Meta published the document Messaging Interoperability which describes in detail how WhatsApp and Messenger become interoperable, in Europe, with third-party messaging apps.

With this change actually operational, users can send and receive messages from other messaging apps which will in turn activate theintegration with WhatsApp e Messenger.

Interoperability between WhatsApp, Messenger and other messaging apps that request it

During the first year of introduction of the innovation desired by the European legislator, Meta technicians explain, users of WhatsApp and other messaging platforms can exchanging messages 1:1, with full support for sharing images, voice messages, videos and other attachments. In the future the functions will be further extended and will concern groupsin addition to calls and video calls.

As explained in the support document, developers interested in making their apps interoperable must submit a formal request to Metaby filling out a specific form and sharing a series of information.

In any case, interoperability with WhatsApp and Messenger will be exploitable using the algorithm underlying the crittografia end-to-end by Signal, which forms the backbone of the Meta messaging apps. “We will still allow third-party providers to use a compatible protocol if they can demonstrate that it offers the same security guarantees as Signal“, however, the company clarified.

How they are managed messages containing videos, images or other media? In this regard, Meta specifies that alternative messaging platforms to its own will be responsible for hosting the files sent by their users to WhatsApp and Messenger users.

How communication between third-party apps and WhatsApp works in detail

Third-party providers who intend to communicate with the WhatsApp and Messenger network are asked to “package messages” in encrypted structures with the protocollo Signal and “packaged” within files in XML format.

The Meta servers, for their part, communicate with the clients connected via a persistent connection. As mentioned above, third-party servers then host the submitted media files, which Meta clients download using a proxy service developed and made available by Meta itself.

In order to maintain end-to-end encryption, checks on clients are essential, both during sending and receiving. This ensures that only the sender and intended recipients can access the content, preventing any eavesdropping.

The company cautioned, however, that it will not be able to guarantee what the third-party messaging provider will do with messages sent or received. And this even after the correct implementation of end-to-end encryption.

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