Cross-platform messaging will be supported by Meta-owned WhatsApp, enabling users on other messaging services to communicate with one another on WhatsApp.

It is evident from Meta that this functionality will be opt-in. Over the past two years, WhatsApp has reportedly been developing the technology that would enable users to communicate across platforms without sacrificing end-to-end encryption, according to a Wired story.

To abide by the EU’s Digital Markets Act, a messaging platform will be permitting this type of interoperability for the first time. Meta and five other companies were named “gatekeepers” by the European Commission in September of last year because “they provide an important gateway between businesses and consumers about core platform services.

David Brouwer, Meta’s technical director for WhatsApp, told Wired that there is “a real tension between offering an easy way to offer this interoperability to third parties while at the same time preserving the WhatsApp privacy, security, and integrity bar.

Users will only be able to exchange files, movies, voice messages, photos, and text messages at first. Calls and group conversations will eventually be added to this.

Incoming messages from other platforms will appear in a distinct section of users’ inboxes dubbed “third-party chats” if they want to use the service.

End-to-end encryption greatly reduces the risk of hacking and safeguards user data privacy. A user’s communication is encrypted on their device before it is transferred when they utilize an end-to-end encrypted platform, such as WhatsApp. The encryption procedure uses sophisticated algorithms and a special encryption key to transform the communication into an unreadable format. This decryption key is exclusively available to the intended recipient, guaranteeing that only they can decode and read the communication.

End-to-end encryption guards against man-in-the-middle attacks and stops snoopers from reading and deciphering the contents of the messages. 

The communication would be meaningless to someone even if they were able to access the intercepted message since they couldn’t decode and read it without the right decryption key.

It’s crucial to remember that end-to-end encryption is not a defense against other security threats like malware or phishing attempts that target the devices directly. Despite message encryption, a user may still click on a malicious link and be attacked.