In a move that might make you nostalgic for the days of seamless messaging, Instagram and Facebook are bidding farewell to their cross-platform chat feature from mid-December. Yes, you read that right – no more sending messages that effortlessly glide between your Insta and Facebook worlds. Brace yourselves for a significant shift in how we connect in the digital realm.
So, what’s the deal? Meta, the parent company of both social media giants, has quietly updated support pages with the news. Starting next month, the ability to start fresh cross-platform conversations will be a thing of the past. Existing chats will be relegated to read-only mode, as if frozen in a digital time capsule. This change might leave some scratching their heads, wondering why the feature, introduced just over three years ago in 2020, is making a swift exit.
According to Meta’s spokesperson, Alex Dziedzan, the decision to part ways with cross-platform messaging is part of an evolution. A few years back, they introduced a unified Messenger experience in Instagram DMs, allowing users to seamlessly message and call across Instagram and Facebook. The goal was efficiency – build once, deploy everywhere. This move coincided with Instagram DMs gaining features that were once exclusive to Messenger, like vanishing messages and selfie stickers.
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However, the plot thickens. Speculation arises about whether this move is a strategic one, possibly making the separation of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp a trickier task. Back in 2019, there were murmurs about the potential breakup of these services. If that were to happen, the argument might be that they are no longer distinct entities but merely different interfaces of the same interconnected system.
Coincidentally or not, Meta is making this change just as it faces challenges from the European Commission. They are contesting the decision to regulate Messenger as a “core platform service” under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). If the EU’s stringent antitrust rules come into play, Meta could be forced to make Messenger interoperable with other messaging services. However, Meta contends that Messenger is an integral feature of Facebook rather than a standalone platform, seeking an exemption from the DMA.
While this saga unfolds, it’s worth noting that Meta seems to be on board with similar regulations for WhatsApp. Signs indicate that efforts are underway to make WhatsApp interoperable as required by the DMA. The intricacies of how Messenger’s interoperability with Instagram DMs influenced its designation under the DMA remain a bit murky, especially since this feature never made its way to Europe.
In a world where digital landscapes are ever-evolving, these changes are a reminder that even the giants of the social media realm are not immune to shifts and separations. As we bid adieu to the era of seamlessly crossing between Instagram and Facebook messages, one can’t help but wonder what other surprises the digital future holds. Stay tuned, because in the world of Meta, the only constant is change.