WhatsApp to allow cross-platform messaging with third-party apps in Europe

Under a new EU mandate, users will gain the option to send messages from WhatsApp to other supported third-party apps.


WhatsApp, the messaging service owned by Meta, is updating its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for users within the European Region. These changes, becoming effective on April 11, 2024, are in direct response to the EU's new Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act.

The updated policies provide more clarity on WhatsApp's guidelines, describing acceptable and prohibited behaviors on the platform. Additionally, under a new EU mandate, users will gain the option to send messages from WhatsApp to other supported third-party apps.

The new feature will allow users to exchange messages between WhatsApp and other messaging services that support the EU's interoperability mandate. This integration aims to prevent users from feeling locked into a single messaging app and promotes greater freedom to communicate with contacts on different platforms.

The EU's Digital Markets Act, the key driver behind this change, puts user choice at the forefront. Lawmakers hope to level the playing field between smaller messaging apps and giants like WhatsApp. WhatsApp's cross-platform compatibility is seen as a positive step toward a more open and interconnected digital communications environment.

For those using WhatsApp Channels, the update explains how the Channels Guidelines are applied, the process for reporting content, appealing decisions, and how channels receive recommendations.

New Data Protection and Age Requirements

WhatsApp will also revise its international data transfer mechanisms. European users will be protected under the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework for secure data handling. The minimum age requirement to use WhatsApp in the European Union will drop from 16 to 13, aligning with the platform's global standard for consistency.

The company emphasizes that as always, personal messages and calls remain secured with end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp cannot read or access this content.

To continue using WhatsApp beyond April 11, 2024, users must agree to the updated Terms of Service. Those who do not wish to accept can find information on account options within the announcement.

WhatsApp encourages users to read the updated Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Supplemental Terms of Service for WhatsApp Channels, and WhatsApp Channels Supplemental Privacy Policy for comprehensive understanding of the changes.

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