Meta is beginning the process of setting up constraints for “cross-app chats” with your Instagram contacts, either through Facebook Messenger or vice-versa.
In 2020, Meta – previously known as “Facebook” – announced the integration of its Messenger experience with Instagram. This merge was envisioned to elevate the chatting experience for Instagram users, guaranteeing the use of the best messaging experience, regardless of the app being utilized. While it was possible to communicate with your Facebook friends and Instagram contacts from either app, an “update” for messaging experience was necessary.
Fast forward to three years later, the company is reversing the course on this integration. According to a new support page, cross-app chatting between Messenger and Instagram will no longer be available as of “mid-December 2023”. The support page outlines what will change upon deactivation of the feature:
- Starting new conversations or calls with Facebook accounts from Instagram will not be possible.
- Any existing chats with Facebook accounts will become read-only, implying that neither party can send new messages in these chats.
- Facebook accounts won’t have access to your Activity Status or know whether you’ve seen a message.
- Any prior chats with Facebook accounts won’t be moved to your inbox on Facebook or Messenger.
No specific reasons have been provided for the change, however, it may be connected to Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which mandates large companies to offer interoperability between messaging platforms. Another product by Meta, WhatsApp, has already been found preparing a “Third-Party Chats” feature to comply with the DMA.
It’s conceivable that Meta is disabling this app-specific cross-app chatting feature to streamline wider, DMA-compliant interoperability within Messenger. Conversely, this move might simply be part of Meta’s strategy to scale back Messenger. The app recently lost SMS/MMS capabilities on Android, and Messenger Lite was also discontinued.
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