In an unexpected turn, Meta, as reported by 9 to 5 Google, announced a surprising update that will eliminate cross-app messaging between Facebook and Instagram. The social giant stated that starting mid-December 2023, users won't be able to chat with Facebook accounts on Instagram, halting new conversations or calls between the platforms. Existing cross-app chats will turn read-only, essentially becoming archived but inactive.
This decision starkly contrasts Meta's ongoing push for messaging integration across its platforms - Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Meta had been aiming for a universal inbox accessible across its apps, but this move suggests a divergence from this plan.
Speculation arises as to why Meta would retract from a three-year-long process. Some cite the upcoming clause in the E.U. Digital Markets Act (DMA), mandating large messaging apps to facilitate interoperability. Under this act, Meta might need to allow other platforms to send DMs into Messenger, IG Direct, and WhatsApp, potentially complicating matters with end-to-end encryption.
Reports also highlight Meta's challenge against the European Commission's classification of Messenger as a "core platform service." Detaching Messenger from Facebook and possibly IG Direct could strengthen Meta's argument against new interoperability requirements.
Despite seeking clarity from Meta on this shift, no response has been received. This move raises questions about Meta's larger messaging integration strategy, suggesting a potential departure from its earlier direction. For strategic planning and audience connection, this shift serves as another consideration in navigating the evolving landscape of Meta's messaging platforms.