Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, has discreetly updated its support pages to inform users that they will no longer be able to message their Facebook contacts from Instagram. The company, without specifying a precise date, has announced that this feature will be discontinued in mid-December.
According to reports by 9to5Google, the support page reveals that users will lose the ability to initiate new cross-platform conversations, and existing chats on Instagram will be relegated to read-only status. This move comes three years after Meta initially introduced cross-platform messaging in 2020, featuring enhancements like group chat along the way. The company has chosen to phase out this feature with minimal fanfare.
Despite the discontinuation, Meta has not provided a specific reason for ending cross-platform messaging. It is noteworthy that the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) mandates large messaging apps to be interoperable with one another.
In September, WABetaInfo reported Meta-owned WhatsApp’s initiation of an interoperability feature, as evidenced by the discovery of a “third-party chat” screen. In August, Meta announced its intention to implement end-to-end encryption for Messenger users by default by the year’s end. During this announcement, Rob Sherman, Meta’s deputy privacy officer, mentioned that Instagram Direct Messages would also receive end-to-end encryption once the Messenger rollout is complete. The company has not clarified if the cessation of cross-platform messaging is connected to this development.
In a separate development, Meta, in response to the German antitrust body’s directive in June, has agreed to revamp its account center to grant users more control over cross-site activities.