Meta Unplugging Messenger and Instagram Chat This Month

Meta plans to remove the chat feature that allows users to chat with Facebook friends on Instagram. The company will disconnect the integrated feature, which was added in 2020, starting mid-December. While Meta did not provide a specific reason for this change, it is speculated that the decision may be motivated by the desire to avoid regulatory consequences in the EU.

The cross-platform integration was announced in 2019 and went live in 2020. This integration blurred the lines between Instagram and Facebook, allowing users to communicate across both platforms. However, Meta has stated that as of mid-December 2023, users will no longer be able to initiate new chats or calls with Facebook friends on Instagram. Existing conversations with Facebook accounts will become read-only, and Facebook accounts will no longer be able to see users’ activity status or read receipts. Additionally, any existing chats with Facebook accounts will not transfer to either platform’s inbox.

The EU’s Digital Markets Act, passed in 2022, aims to prevent platform holders from obtaining monopoly power. The act allows the European Commission to impose a maximum penalty of 10 percent of a company’s total global turnover from the previous year if it is deemed overly dominant. It is possible that Meta saw the potential risks associated with the cross-messaging feature and decided to remove it to avoid potential regulatory consequences.

In conclusion, Meta’s decision to remove the cross-platform integration between Instagram and Facebook may be motivated by a desire to avoid regulatory scrutiny in the EU. Starting mid-December, users will no longer be able to communicate with Facebook friends on Instagram, and existing conversations will be limited to read-only status.