Menu
WhatsApp not as open as Messenger to outside developers

WhatsApp not as open as Messenger to outside developers

WhatsApp has no immediate plans to offer APIs to outside developers, its cofounder said

WhatsApp on iOS

WhatsApp on iOS

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, the popular mobile messaging and calling service, has no immediate plans to offer tools to outside developers to let them build services on top of it.

Doing so could potentially introduce unwanted content into the app, slow it down, and disrupt the flow of one-to-one messages and interactions between its users, WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton said Wednesday during a panel talk at Facebook's F8 conference in San Francisco.

Acton delivered his remarks after two developers from the audience asked when, if at all, WhatsApp would offer application programming interfaces or APIs to them.

Acton was adamant. For the year, the company is focused on its voice calling service -- which is available for Android now and coming to iOS soon -- as well as its recently launched Web software, he said.

Facebook, meanwhile, has opened up its Messenger app to outside developers. Facebook thinks it can make Messenger more useful by letting developers incorporate functions into the app to let users share more types of content. Select online businesses can also now interact with customers inside Messenger through chats.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, during the opening keynote at F8, heralded Facebook's "growing family" of apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and Groups. But Acton's comments help to show that not every member of that family has the same goals.

A WhatsApp spokesman declined to comment further.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp last year for a closing price of roughly US$22 billion.

Some unofficial WhatsApp APIs have been posted to GitHub, but the company has tried to remove them. Last year WhatsApp issued take down orders to GitHub under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, over open source projects tied to WhatsApp.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetFacebookInternet-based applications and servicesWhatsApp

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments