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May 29, 2024

Meta Pulls the Plug on Cross-App Messaging Between Instagram and Facebook

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Dec 4, 2023

Meta has announced that it will discontinue support for cross-app messaging between Instagram and Facebook Messenger starting later this month, severing a years-old feature that enabled communication between the services.

Integration Set for Shutdown Mid-December

The change will take effect during "mid-December 2023," according to Meta, ending functionality that interconnected the messaging platforms of its main social apps since 2020.

"We’re constantly evaluating ways to improve messaging experiences overall. This helps us focus our efforts on enhancing other highly valued experiences," a company spokesperson said of the move.

Once support concludes, users will no longer be able to message across Instagram and Messenger. Ongoing conversations taking place across the apps will remain intact, but new messages will be limited to the app they originate from.

Date Milestone
Mid-December 2023 Support for cross-app messaging discontinued
2020 Instagram and Messenger integration introduced

The shutdown comes over two years after Meta first rolled out cross-app communication between Instagram Direct and Messenger. The feature allowed users to start individual and group chats that span between services, representing one of Meta’s earliest steps toward linking its social ecosystem.

Integration Faced Challenges, Privacy Issues

Industry observers note that the cross-app messaging effort faced adoption challenges from users. Its implementation also prompted questions around data sharing policies across Meta’s properties.

The change "is an example of how Meta’s vision for interoperability between its apps is incredibly complex," said Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence.

"People use each of Meta’s apps in different ways, and messaging is no exception. Removing this functionality eliminates confusion among users about whether their Instagram contacts and Facebook friends can reach them and vice versa," Enberg added.

Wind Down Part of Broader Messaging Strategy Shift

The rollback of messaging integration arrives alongside Meta’s ongoing revamping of communication features across apps.

Signaling wider strategic changes, Meta recently confirmed plans to incorporate Messenger functions directly into Instagram. The redesigned Messaging screen on Instagram will enable users to quickly switch between conversations without changing apps.

"Simplifying messaging across our apps helps people stay connected to who and what matters most. The new Messaging experience on Instagram and investments in Messenger lay the foundation for what’s ahead," wrote Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an October statement.

As the unbundling gets underway this month, analysts say Meta aims to double down on enhancing native experiences tailored to how users engage with each individual service.

"Instagram and Messenger serve different use cases," said Jasmine Enberg. "Offering a unified messaging experience made less and less sense."

Timeline: Key Events in Cross-App Messaging Integration

Date Event
Sept. 2020 Instagram and Messenger integration introduced, enabling cross-app messaging
Oct. 2022 Meta announces plans to build Messenger features into Instagram to "simplify messaging"
Mid-Dec. 2023 Support discontinued for messaging interoperability between Instagram and Messenger

The wind down of cross-communication functionality marks the latest shift in Meta’s evolving approach toward linking its messaging services. With the changes taking effect shortly, users can expect exclusive platform-specific experiences tailored to Instagram messaging and Messenger.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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