Think about the very first online messenger you ever used. For me, it was Windows Messenger (not counting ICQ), officially released in July 1999. At the time, I had no idea that it would eventually become compatible with other messaging platforms like Yahoo and Facebook.
Interoperability with Yahoo Messenger was achieved in July 2006 and with Facebook in September 2010. Interoperability was inevitable but rejected; not even myself, an avid MSN user back in the day, was aware that MSN became compatible with Facebook. Why? Because interoperability wasn’t a core value of MSN and it took them 7 years to realize that as a nascent social media platform, it needed to be interoperable to succeed.
Nowadays, every major web2 social media platform has some form of messaging communication. Some, like Facebook Messenger, are more complex, while others remain simple and effective. But all of them acknowledged long ago the need to incorporate messaging as a major feature of any social media endeavor.
But what if Messaging became the main feature of a new protocol? A main feature that takes lessons from ICQ and MSN, two giants at their time but irrelevant nowadays, and starts building and focusing this messaging protocol alongside its users and builders.
That’s the concept behind The Interoperability Initiative. And the ideas that follow are very simple:
- We built dm3 as a free and open-source protocol.
- We connect existing and new messaging solutions. At the moment, we are in discussion with a number of web3 messaging solutions to align and evaluate how these solutions can interact using the dm3 protocol.
- We connect with builders and native messaging communities to build consensus.
- We communicate periodically with the web3 ecosystem incorporating feedback and sharing updates.
- We all become part of The Interoperability Initiative.
This last step comes as a natural progression. When we launched the beta version of the dm3 protocol, we discovered that messaging is a very personal experience. Back in the day, people would choose “Yahoo” over “Hotmail” based on the features they needed or preferred. So, let’s make it personal, let’s allow every builder to customize their messaging experience, regardless of the network or the platform they’re using. This capacity is what we call The Interoperability Initiative (TII).
In short, The Interoperability Initiative is a collaborative effort to build a standard for web3 messaging. A public good impulsed by the dm3 protocol. Let’s take those 26 years since ICQ inception and learn from it. We are excited to see the possibility of having Messaging as a public good, and we will work towards that goal.
We have identified key actors of this Ecosystem, who inadvertently are also building a layer of Public goods: NiftyChat (empowering communities), CommonGround (the evolution of discord for web3 natives), WalletConnect Chat (one of the few wallets building integration with messaging), PUSH, Nansen, Dialect (on the works), Relay, Notifi, BlockScan Chat, Space.id, Status, XTMP, MASQ, SKIFF, mailchain, beoble, and so many others, whose mission is to provide, in one way or another, a gateway to messaging for their users to communicate. Now, our goal is to make communication possible in between, regardless of the app you choose.
But avoiding silos is not the only core value of the dm3 protocol. Interoperability, decentralization, and encryption are also key features of our protocol. Aren’t we all looking for the same values using different interfaces?
Taking this to the extreme: we can’t read/access (nor want to) your encrypted messages, and you decide where to store every message, even before sending them, giving you full control of your texts. These features work hand in hand, so whenever you see the dm3 protocol logo, you can safely assume that what you are reading and writing is using these three key features in its code.
The dm3 protocol serves as the point of interaction and the foundation for a range of options: widgets, customer service embedded chats, group chats, or simple p2p communication. You can choose how to incorporate the dm3 protocol into your app and life, and we strive to make that integration process smooth and seamless.
The Interoperability Initiative is now live, and we invite you to join us and have a conversation about integrations, feedback, and needs or just to touch base. The specification of the dm3 protocol is also live, and you can find a detailed description of how it works in the provided link. Also, you can test the reference implementation. In the meantime, you can also reach us on Twitter.
We wanted to keep this announcement short as a DM but as expressive as an emoji, so we hope that the next time we exchange messages, we will be using the dm3 protocol on the backend of your dApp.
Eduardo Vega, Head of Community Engagement at Corpus.
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