Meta is winding down the cross-messaging feature between Instagram and Facebook, a significant shift in its integrated messaging system introduced in 2020. The company’s support pages were recently updated to reflect this change, indicating that the feature will be discontinued by mid-December 2023, although a specific date has not been disclosed.
This development means that users will no longer be able to initiate new conversations across these two platforms. However, existing cross-platform chats on Instagram will transition to a read-only format.
Introduced three years ago, the cross-messaging capability was part of Meta’s broader vision for an integrated messaging system across its platforms. The sudden reversal of this feature comes without an official statement from Meta, leaving the reasoning behind this decision unclear.
This move comes amidst the European Union’s stringent Digital Markets Act (DMA), which mandates large messaging applications to enable interoperability among themselves. Interestingly, WhatsApp, another Meta-owned platform, has reportedly started developing a feature for interoperability, as indicated by WABetaInfo’s discovery of a “third-party chats” screen.
Additionally, Meta’s plans to implement end-to-end encryption for Messenger by the end of the year, with a similar update for Instagram DMs following, could be a factor in this decision. However, the company has not confirmed if the discontinuation is related to these security enhancements.
In a related development, under the directive of the German antitrust body, Meta agreed to overhaul its account center, allowing users more control over their activities across different sites.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, particularly about privacy and interoperability regulations, this move by Meta could signify a strategic shift in how social media platforms manage cross-platform interactions.