​WhatsApp will soon receive its biggest update ever

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What is your username?

​WhatsApp will soon receive its biggest update ever

WhatsApp is going to change in Europe. Partly due to the ‘gatekeeper’ status it received from the European Union, the messenger has the task of ensuring that WhatsApp messages can also be read in other apps. This means that you will soon be able to receive messages in Signal that someone else has sent from WhatsApp.

WhatsApp open for other messages

It is still unknown which apps this will work with. Telegram and Signal are mentioned a lot. It will probably be a separate feed of messages, so when someone you know and on WhatsApp sends a message via another platform, their message will probably appear in a separate screen instead of in the current conversation. So you might have two 1-on-1 conversations with the same person. It is unclear whether this will actually work this way, as it would be useful if you could merge the two.

According to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, apps should become more open and that means you no longer have to wonder where someone sent you that information, because you can find it all in one app. The apps must also ensure that the information remains encrypted, because thanks to end-to-end encryption, messages cannot be intercepted so easily and WhatsApp, among others, would like to keep it that way to monitor the safety of users. And it’s not just text messages that need to be encrypted, so do voice messages, file transfers, images and videos. WhatsApp would therefore like to connect other apps to their client-server architecture. The question is whether other apps want that too.

Usernames on WhatsApp

WhatsApp should have made the adjustment in March this year and it appears to be already busy talking to its competitors to ensure that it is in place before then. It seems to work with contracts and that means that there will be some negotiations here and there. We now have to wait for WhatsApp itself to provide official information about what this will look like in practice for its users.

For example, usernames may come to WhatsApp and these are unique usernames, so you will probably have to quickly ensure that your spot is not captured. Your username may also not consist of special characters, only the alphabet and the numbers 0-9. Yet it is an advantage, because with a username you no longer have to share your telephone number with others. This alone makes WhatsApp a bit more open.

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