WhatsApp changes, from April 11th messages from other chats too. In the EU the minimum age for registration drops to 13 years


By John

The European Union is pushing WhatsApp towards an epochal change. From 11 April, as announced by Meta, the giant that develops the chat service, users will be able to decide whether to receive incoming messages from other applications within WhatsApp, including competitors Telegram and Signal.

An opportunity that is the result of the EU's request for greater “interoperability” by messaging platforms. And from April 11, the minimum age for using WhatsApp in the European region will go from 16 to 13. Those who signed up for WhatsApp after February 15th have already accepted the new terms while the others will do so with a notification in the next few days.

Article 7 of the Digital Markets Act, which regulates interoperability requirements, provides for the possibility of exchanging messages, photos, voice messages, videos and other files between individuals.

Within two years this must also be possible in group chats and within four years in single and group voice and video calls. From April 11th, WhatsApp should make available a new item in the settings menu in which to activate or deactivate the reception of messages from “third-party chats”.

But the actual exchange will not be imminent. Meta requires the apps to support certain security requirements, in addition to receiving the integration request from third-party services, which will therefore not start from WhatsApp but from competitors.

The interoperability process could last up to three months. Among other news for users in the European Union, WhatsApp will manage their data within the framework of the so-called “Eu-Us Data Privacy Framework”, a new agreement for the transfer of personal information between the European Union and the USA, which came into force last July .