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Meta has revealed plans to end Instagram users' ability to chat with Facebook accounts later this month, rolling back a feature that it introduced over three years ago.

instagram-messenger.jpg

In September 2020, Meta (then Facebook) announced it was merging its Facebook Messenger service with Instagram direct messaging, allowing Instagram users to chat with Facebook users and vice versa using the same platform.

The move was supposed to be part of a long-term plan to merge Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp chat platforms into one underlying messaging infrastructure. The idea behind the plan was said to be to keep people within the Facebook ecosystem, and off of rival texting apps like Apple's iMessage.

However, according to an updated Instagram support page, beginning in mid-December the following cross-app communication features will no longer be available to Instagram users:
  • You won't be able to start new conversations or calls with Facebook accounts from Instagram.
  • Any existing chats on Instagram that you've had with Facebook accounts will become read-only, even if these Facebook accounts are removed from the chat. This means that you and others with Instagram accounts can't send new messages in these chats.
  • Facebook accounts won't be able to view your Activity Status or whether you've seen a message.
  • Any existing chats you've had with Facebook accounts won't move to your inbox on Facebook or Messenger.
When cross-app chat ends, Instagram users will need to start a new chat on Messenger or Facebook from their Facebook account to continue conversations with Facebook accounts.

Meta offered no reason for the change, but 9to5Google speculates that it could be part of a larger effort to comply with Europe's Digital Markets Act (DMA). The theory is that Meta could be preparing to introduce wider interoperability between Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, which would fulfill a key requirement of the DMA. Either that or it is simply scaling back Messenger once again – the company recently removed SMS/MMS support on Android and has shut down Messenger Lite.

Article Link: Instagram and Facebook Messenger Chats to Disconnect This Month
 

jennyp

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2007
622
270
They wanted to keep people off of iMessage but now they've split Instagram off of Messenger? Surely they won't keep WhatsApp off of Messenger too? Or WhatsApp off of Instagram?
 
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contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,454
17,266
Mexico City living in Berlin
I did not even know this was possible 😂 but it may explain why we did not get Emoji reactions etc. for the longest time because those were apparently moved over from Facebook Messenger to Instagram chat and the EU did not like that
 

wanha

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2020
1,318
3,808
The most obvious reasons I can think of for this moves are:

1. Reduces complexity of the products and makes development of each easier
2. Forces users to install both Instagram and Messenger to continue chatting with all their friends

My money is on reason 2
 

Will Co

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2021
339
1,449
United Kingdom
The most obvious reasons I can think of for this moves are:

1. Reduces complexity of the products and makes development of each easier
2. Forces users to install both Instagram and Messenger to continue chatting with all their friends

My money is on reason 2
I see the problem here. You've tried to use "reason". That implies that whoever is making the calls at Meta is capable of it. Not so sure...
 

wanha

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2020
1,318
3,808
I see the problem here. You've tried to use "reason". That implies that whoever is making the calls at Meta is capable of it. Not so sure...

Having worked at big tech companies, I feel confident to assert that there is always a reason.

Now, whether that reason is valid or well thought-out is debatable, but it's safe to say there is always some agenda at play
 
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SoldOnApple

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
940
1,564
I noticed Instagram DMs can’t be read or replied to on business.facebook.com even thiugh accounts are linked. Very annoying.
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
450
177
Charlotte, NC
Having worked at big tech companies, I feel confident to asset that there is always a reason.

Now, whether that reason is valid or well thought-out is debatable, but it's safe to say there is always some agenda at play
I feel like this statement can be applied to anything that has ever happened. Like, any decision made, forever and ever. ;)
 

Skyscraperfan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2021
715
1,973
I did not know that this feature exists. Wouldn't that require that you have accounts on both platform and connect them somehow? Why would you do that?
 

Marbles1

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
495
2,622
It's so nice not to care. It's liberating. So please to be born just early enough to know what else this is for, but not so late that it became part of my life.

On a more on-topic note, it is weird that in 2023 we still have multiple different messengers that can't speak to each other, and Email and SMS remain the only widely accepted universal method of digital communication, regardless of hardware/software, you don't need to use the same email client as a recipient and you don't need to have the same handset.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 68040
Jun 9, 2021
3,894
6,982
I think a big part of this move is that they want to distance Facebook from Instagram. Instagram, for some inexplicable reason, is wildly popular with younger people. And of course Facebook has become what you use with your parents and grandparents and for work because for some inexplicable reason people still expect that.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
6,188
8,363
Toronto, ON
Meta offered no reason for the change, but 9to5Google speculates that it could be part of a larger effort to comply with Europe's Digital Markets Act (DMA). The theory is that Meta could be preparing to introduce wider interoperability between Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, which would fulfill a key requirement of the DMA.

This makes no sense. If their goal is for further interoperability, this does the exact opposite. Making IG DMs interoperable with Messenger was the first move in that direction. WhatsApp and Messenger themselves have been growing into feature parity, with a goal of allowing you to use either one and participate in the same chat sessions.

Mark Zuckerberg, in a recent interview with The Verge, talked extensively about interoperability, not just with Meta's apps but also with external apps.

This move is really puzzling.
 

TimFL1

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2017
1,630
1,880
Germany
It‘s no mess, maybe the communication is, this is all calculated due to the DMA.

They got labelled as gate keeper and will have to comply. This probably means they probably settle on a single standard for interoperability (like RCS), which is then going to be added to all 3 platforms (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) so they comply with the DMA.
 

iJulio

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2022
26
83
Instagram was a great photo sharing / social network before Facebook purchased it and essentially made it FB lite.

The more Meta keeps FB and IG separated, the better. Most IG users don't like FB anyways nor use the product much.
 

ericg301

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2010
2,246
2,384
I thought they were working on integrating all their messaging services?
 

Swift

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2003
1,825
964
Los Angeles
Next, Meta, please unhook Messenger from Facebook. I only use Facebook to keep in touch with distant friends and family. Switching to another app, which acts differently, just breaks the flow.
 
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BCARLLUVSM1

macrumors newbie
Nov 30, 2021
27
15
Actually, I prefer this. I find a lot of hackers/account cloners were using Instagram to hack FB accounts or scam people. I have seen this several times. Several of my friends were victims of this.
 
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