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

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

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?