WhatsApp testing a new cross-platform messaging feature called ‘third-party chats’

As per a new leak, WhatsApp is working on a cross-platform messaging feature after the EU confirmed that Meta’s instant messaging platform has to meet interoperability standards.

| Updated on: Sep 11 2023, 10:21 IST
In Pics: Send the best quality WhatsApp photos on iPhone, Android now; Know how
1/5 Why does WhatsApp compress pictures while sharing it? This happens because in the Settings of the application the photo upload quality is set on auto by default, and therefore, the quality of the image while sharing depends on several factors like the internet connection, size of the image, and more. The app therefore, looks to downsize the image, which affects its quality. (PTI)
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2/5 How to send the best quality photo on WhatsApp: Open WhatsApp on your iPhone or Android device and click on the three dots to go to WhatsApp Settings. From Settings you will have to select Storage and Data. After that you will have to tap on the Photo upload quality and select the Best Quality option and then click on Ok. (REUTERS)
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3/5 Meanwhile, you can also check the steps to send photos and videos on WhatsApp here: Go to WhatsApp and open an individual or group chat where you want to send the photo or video. Click on the Attach icon, then follow the steps mentioned below: (PTI)
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4/5 On an Android device, click on the gallery to select an existing photo or video from your phone. Tap and hold to select multiple images. You can also add captions to photos and videos. Swipe between photos to add captions to each one and finally click on the send icon. (REUTERS)
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5/5 While iPhone users will have to click on the plus icon and then select Photo and Video Library to select a photo or video from your iPhone's photos or albums. After selecting a photo or video, tap Add at the bottom left to select multiple photos or videos at once. (Pixabay)
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WhatsApp third-party chat feature can allow users to interact with users from other platforms without needing to download WhatsApp. (Unsplash)

WhatsApp is reportedly getting a new feature, but it is not what it wanted to build. In fact, WhatsApp was quite against it. Interoperability, or cross-platform interaction has been one of the major talking points for the European Union's new Digital Markets Act (DMA) which is pushing to quash ecosystem lock-in and anti-competitive behavior. Earlier this month, the EU confirmed that Meta's instant messaging platform falls under the category of ‘gatekeeper' and must comply with the obligations of the new guidelines. Soon after, a new report highlighted that WhatsApp has begun working on a cross-platform messaging feature called ‘third-party chats'. This will enable users to text anyone on any other messaging app directly.

According to a report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is rolling out a new update through the Google Play Beta Program which will bring the version up to And this new update showcases a new screen with a header that says ‘Third-party chats'. As per the report, this update is focused on WhatsApp complying with the EU regulations by “developing support for chat interoperability”. Also read: WhatsApp to introduce toggle to disable Instant Video Messages

WhatsApp testing cross-platform messaging

Cross-platform interaction is emerging as a discussion point for governments and nonprofit organizations as major tech companies with multiple applications focus on creating an ecosystem experience and locking in their users within that ecosystem. This makes it difficult for the user to interact with those who are not part of the ecosystem and download separate apps for each platform. EU defines such a condition as anti-competitive and has added an emphasis for companies to not participate in such behavior.

With the new feature, WhatsApp users can text a user who exclusively uses Telegram, Signal, or any other platform. This means users do not have to be restricted to the user base of a single platform and feel forced to download multiple chat apps.

Such interoperability will also put pressure on the companies to focus on the app experience to keep its existing user base and not lose it to a competitor with better features and user interface. Also read: Now, share WhatsApp HD photos and videos with ease as Meta rolls out big update

Google Chat is one of the platforms that is also testing cross-platform messaging features. But unlike WhatsApp, its interoperability is limited to other communication platforms for businesses like Microsoft Teams and Slack considering its use case.

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First Published Date: 11 Sep, 10:12 IST