Starting in mid-December, Instagram and Facebook messages won’t work together anymore. Meta recently updated some support pages with this information. After this change, you can’t begin new cross-messaging chats between Instagram and Facebook.
Any such previous conversations to which this applies will become read-only. The exact date when the pages were updated is unclear, but the notice was on the Instagram version by at least November 21st, according to The Verge.
Meta spokesperson Alex Dziedzan confirmed the update in a recent statement to The Verge. He stated that they will be removing this feature beginning in mid-December. However, users can still message and call the contacts on Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger individually.
The cross-messaging feature first launched in 2020
The feature’s end comes just over three years since it was launched in 2020. Back then, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, hinted that this change would make Meta more efficient.
They could develop messaging features once and then use them across all their products. When cross-platform messaging began, Instagram DMs got some Messenger-exclusive features, like vanishing messages and selfie stickers, as reported by The Verge.
Instagram users will soon no longer be able to message Facebook friends directly 📩
The cross-platform messaging feature is set to shut down “mid-December” pic.twitter.com/EKpez4xKVC
— Waivly (@Waivly) December 5, 2023
However, some thought that bringing Meta’s services closer together would make it harder to break up Facebook, Instagram, and, later, WhatsApp.
European Commission says regulate Messenger as a “core platform service”
Coincidentally or not, Meta is separating the two messaging platforms at the same time it is opposing the European Commission’s decision to regulate Messenger as a “core platform service” under the Digital Markets Act.
If Meta falls under the EU’s strict new antitrust rules, they might have to make Messenger work with other messaging services. However, Meta argues it should be exempt because Messenger is a part of Facebook, not a standalone messaging platform, according to The Verge.
It is unclear how Messenger’s connection with Instagram DMs influenced its classification under the DMA. The feature doesn’t seem to have been introduced in Europe.
However, Meta isn’t challenging a similar designation for its WhatsApp messaging service. There are indications that they’re already working to make WhatsApp interoperable, as required by the DMA.
Facebook Parent Meta Hit with Record Fine By the EU
Recently, the EU slapped Meta with a record $1.3 billion privacy fine and ordered the company to stop transferring user data across the Atlantic.
The penalty fine of 1.2 billion euros from Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is the biggest since the EU’s strict data privacy regime took effect five years ago, surpassing Amazon’s 746 million euro penalty in 2021 for data protection violations.