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Meta Hits Pause on Facebook-Instagram Cross-Messaging

Meta is hitting pause on the cross-messaging magic between Facebook and Instagram, three years after introducing the feature. Back in 2020, they made it easy for users on both platforms to shoot the breeze, with dreams of extending this camaraderie across all of Meta’s messaging apps. But the dream is over, as a recent update on the Instagram Help Center spills the beans that cross-platform chit-chat is biting the dust sometime in “mid-December 2023.” No specific date, though.

So, what’s the aftermath of this grand deactivation? No more starting fresh convos or calls, and all those existing chats you had from a Facebook account will go read-only. Facebook users won’t get a peek at an Instagram profile’s Activity Status or read receipts either. And here’s the kicker – Meta won’t be shifting any conversations to Messenger. If you’re looking to kick off a new chat, it’s a back-to-square-one situation on each platform.

Why the sudden change? Well, Meta is keeping tight-lipped, and there’s no official word on the why. However, the rumor mill is buzzing about a potential link to Europe’s Digital Market Act (DMA), which aims to prevent tech bigwigs from taking over the industry. One of the DMA rules is about having “interoperability between messaging platforms,” and Meta might be pivoting to make WhatsApp the go-to DMA-compliant messaging service.

The DMA deadline is creeping closer (March 6, 2024), and Meta’s been tweaking its strategy for a while now, including winding down support for SMS and shutting the door on Messenger Lite. We tried to get the lowdown from Meta on when exactly the cross-chat fun is coming to an end and why they’re hitting pause, but they’re keeping us on read.